Meet Pascal Conq, the quiet genius behind some of the most influential design ideas of our times
One man with a good reason to smile at the end of the Fastnet Race was Pascal Conq, the quiet genius of the Finot-Conq design office. His newest design, Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss, has gone and grabbed 3rd place in class in her first ever race. In terms of boatspeed, the black beauty is just blistering. Thomson says he easily averaged 16 knots in 12 knots TWS. The new boat is 40 per cent more powerful than his last.
Finot-Conq have a fantastic record: 25 of their designs have started Vendée Globes and 20 have finished (four had rudder failures, and Gerry Roufs’s Groupe LG was tragically lost). They have had four different winners in the race and yet they went through the last cycle without any orders for a new design. So their performance this time has inevitably been a matter of great interest and slight anxiety.
Incidentally, Pascal is the man who invented the first ever canting keel in 1982 at the age of 20, for a 5.5m plywood pocket racer. He was also the first to design kick-up rudders, an idea he worked on after seeing Isabelle Autissier put out of the Vendée Globe in 1996 by a rudder failure.
So we shouldn’t be too surprised if he has a few more tricks up his sleeve.
2 comments:”Finot-Conq have a fantastic record: 25 of their designs have started Vendée Globes and 20 have finished (four had rudder failures, and Gerry Roufs’s Groupe LG was tragically lost). ”
Do you really think 20% loss at sea is a fantastic record? I don’t.Ken Sowden
[1 loss in 25 would be 4% but as there was no communication from Gerry Roufs sadly we will never know what happened to him or his boat.-Elaine]