A flurry of multihull activity has spurred Peyron's giant plans. Here's what's behind it
So Bruno Peyron has finally relaunched The Race, the epoch-making round the world race that created the whole maxi multihull movement a decade ago. His new race for what he termed ‘the G Class’ – G for giant – is planned for 2013.
This is something Peyron has been talking about ever since the The Race finished; he never saw that as a one-time-only event. Peyron has tried over and over to get a successor going but it never worked.
He fumed bitterly and threatened to sue when Tracy Edwards managed the Oryx Quest race round the world in 2005, claiming she had usurped his idea. He resurrected the idea again in 2006, adding an additional 80ft one-design class and called that the Race Tour.
Peyron’s new plan is to gather up as many of the 12 giant multihulls that have been built since 2000 and run a round the world in 2013 or 2014.
In fact, the timing is the most important thing here: it not only slots The Race between editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – and with the entry of French multihull star Franck Cammas that must be carefully respected – but it clashes head-to-head with Peyron’s latest rival, the Multi One Design race (HERE).
This new round the world race for 70ft trimarans definitely owes something to Peyron’s one-design vision and looks as if it will garner serious entries after Michel Desjoyeaux announced this month (HERE) that he is to take the first entry. There may not be a market for both but the chances are that one will succeed.
Peyron has opted for a format with existing boats to give him the jump.
However, the snag may be that a field of boats from the last decade will make an uneven playing field.
Boats like Groupama 3 and Banque Populaire V are the fourth and fifth generation: bigger, more powerful, far more sophisticated than the original Gilles Ollier Club Med designs and at full pelt a monstrous 50 per cent faster. It’s hard to see how more than the latest three or four of these boats could compete on equal footing.
Fact is, though, that these same boats are grasping for things to do to make a return on investment. Banque Populaire V cost €10 million to build. The Race Mk 2 would expand the programme very nicely indeed.
“I can not imagine making all these records without participating in a race like The Race. These boats are fabulous and fighting around the world in real time is exceptional,” says Banque Pop’s skipper Pascal Bidégorry.
I cannot see how the new The Race could ever equal the original in excitement and daring. This was such completely unknown territory that at the time Yachting World asked if it was too dangerous. But it is a very welcome return to putting these boats back where they really belong: in simultaneous, headlong fleet racing.