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ORMA 60 - A new trimaran for Belgacom and Jean-Luc Nélias

by Belgacom Sailing Team 15 Mar 2001 17:39 GMT

Belgacom Sailing Team is ready for 2001!

The upcoming season will be one tough challenge for Belgacom: An existing boat already back in the water for an intensive two months training session, a highly motivated team behind an highly motivated skipper, and last but not least, a brand new boat to be launched in the summer. After what has been a successfull first year in the open 60's multihulls world, the belgian telecom group, Belgacom, has decided to continue their involvment with French skipper, Jean-Luc Nélias, by giving him the helm of a new boat.

A new state-of-the-art trimaran

The objective for the Belgacom Sailing Team and yacht designers Van Peteghem/Lauriot Prévost was to conceive an evolved but strong platform which could be competitive as soon as the boat is launched. Innovation is part of the project and for the first time in the multihull circuit the hulls have been tank tested at the University of Liege in Belgium. The shore crew, headed by Luc Bartissol, has also built a full scale model of the cockpit in order to study the best ergonomy required for the manouvres during the grand prix.

The boat is currently being build at the CDK yard in Port la Forêt (South West Brittany in France), the sails will come from North Sails France and the mast will be built at Espace Composite, a French sparmaker. It will be launched in August, and she should have her first sail in her national waters during the Belgium Grand Prix in September.

The boat's sail number is Bel 32 in reference to the international phone code for Belgium, a little nod to our sponsor, Belgacom!

A winning crew for the Mondial Assistance Challenge and for the Grand Prix events

Soon after the Challenge Mondial Assistance and before the new boat arrives, Belgacom 1 will participate at the first three Grand Prix of the season (Cap d'Agde, Italy and Fécamp). The objective for the year will be a place on the podium, and to help him doing this Jean-Luc Nélias has a "winning" crew on his side. On the turquoise hulls, Michel Desjoyeaux, Pierre Mas, Thierry Péponnet, Sébastien Godefroid, Yann Gouniot, Fréderic Brousse, Jules Mazars and Christophe Lassègue will sail under the Belgian flag. All of them are used to this type of racing, no doubt that it will be a team to watch for!

Transat Jacques Vabre : Nélias goes for Vendée Globe winner!

For the 5th Transat Jacques Vabre, the peak of this year's multihulls season, Jean-Luc Nélias has put his choice on Michel Desjoyeaux for the doublehanded transatlantic race leaving le Havre to Salvador de Bahia in November this year.

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