Polish yachtsman Roman Paszke made official his project for the construction of a giant catamaran for The race/La Course du Millénaire.

This maxi multihull of 33 metres long by 18 metres beam, will be built in the Stocznia Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Roman Paszke’s hometown. Paszke wishes to open the yard to the public in order notably to offer activities aimed at young people.

Roman Paszke is the first skipper to give the green light to leading French catamaran architect Gilles Ollier (he is one of three). While this multihull is an entirely new creation, it obviously draws from all the experience accumulated by the French design office. It should be remembered that Gilles Ollier is the father of the catamaran Explorer belonging to Bruno Peyron, which first set the record for the Jules verne Trophy and is still holder of the Atlantic record.

The campaign of skipper Roman Paszke is supported by Polish companies, but is still open to any foreign partners which would offer him an even more international dimension. Roman’s team is currently made up of eight people. The selection of the first crew members will soon commence. “We will be around fifteen by mid April, including the technicians and the sailors to reach 25 by the end of the same month.”, declared Marek Slodownik, in charge of the project’s communications.

Training and promotion will start aboard two Formula 40 catamarans one of which is a 1/3rd scale replica of the big catamaran. This unit in fact is being built in Poland and will be launched in April. “Even if we have only limited experience yet in offshore racing, I am really keen to compare our knowledge with that of the skippers from other nations.”, Roman Paszke declared.

An amazing adventure for the Polish skipper who is not unknown in the world of ocean racing. Indeed, in 1997 at the helm of his ILC 40 monohull, MK Café, he won in Cowes (UK) as a part of the American team, the World Ocean Racing Championship, the Admiral’s Cup.

The signing of the new catamaran took place at Disneyland in Paris on Tuesday March 2nd last.Gilles Ollier comments : When Bruno Peyron, after having won the first Jules Verne Trophy in 1993, announced his wish to create a new race, I immediately felt that The Race could very quickly become a major event. All the ingredients for success were brought together with the passage of the millennium, the round the world course, the “No Limits” notion, direct communication from the boats of course and machines to be invented capable of exceeding 40 knots.

This very exciting perspective fitted in well with the logic of our design office because we have specialised in multihulls for the last 20 years. Our boats have indeed won almost all the great crewed events, notably several Atlantic Crossing records, the last one of which still remains to be beaten, the first Jules Verne Trophy, the Pacific Crossing record, etc.

It is quite clear then that our next challenge is to win The Race. Indeed this perspective very quickly became our n° 1 objective. We therefore started working on the project from a very early date because we anticipated the fact that budgets would not be released until quite late in the day.

To refine the thoughts of our design office, we brought together the best French specialists in hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, structural calculation and meteorology and we integrated them into our working group. These specialists collectively accumulate enormous experience in ocean racing multihulls.

Before being absolutely sure, we needed to undertake a lot of ‘upstream’ ground work. Over the last 4 years, we have looked at a lot of options, carried out numerous studies and undertook tank testing to attempt to resolve the problems posed by a race without limits. By the end of the first stage of research, we were able to provide a certain number of answers to the questions we were asking ourselves and which gave birth to a generic boat.

“A generic boat”