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Class Ultim 32/23: Francois Gabart’s ‘Macif’ emerges from six-month refit with enhanced foiling ability

What do you do when you have developed the official fastest ocean going sailboat in the world and set a new record time for a non-stop lap of the planet of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds?

Well, if you are French solo ocean racing skipper Francois Gabart, you make it faster!

During a six-month long refit, Gabart’s 30m Class Ultim 32/23 trimaran MACIF was relaunched on July 31, 2018. New foils now allow the boat to fly even faster and higher.

“MACIF is no longer the same as she was last year,” said Gabart, “But she is also exactly as we imagined her in theory. The results of the studies carried out over a period of two years seem a little mad on paper, but in reality, she aligns with all the figures. It’s incredibly exciting and fun to discover a new boat.”

“When MACIF was first launched, sailing in flight was only beginning,” Gabart explained. “The composites were questioned and in terms of geometry we were still learning things. Since then foils have been studied very closely and the ones we use today generally offer high performance.”

Bigger and thinner, with better developed geometry, the new foils – helped by a centreboard change and new rudders – have dramatically improved the boat’s flying performance. The ‘cabin’ in which the skipper shelters has also been lowered and canvas has been used to optimize aerodynamics.

From now until the start of the Route du Rhum at the beginning of November the MACIF trimaran will be out on the water regularly to sign off on some of the on board systems. Gabart will also be taking part in two training sessions organized by the Finistère offshore racing centre along with the Gitana, Banque Populaire and Sodebo teams.

“Taking the boat out to sail can be complicated, so we are going to make sure that every session is worthwhile,” he said.

Source: Macif Course au Large

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