After studying the matter for several months and following various discussions, the French sailors Loïck and Bruno Peyron are getting together in an attempt to unite the leading figures from French multihull sailing. This new challenge is being set up with the goal of bringing the America’s Cup, which will be raced on multihulls in 2013, to France for the first time in its history.
– A meeting between Russell Coutts, representing the Defender and organiser of the 34th America’s Cup, and the Peyron brothers was held in Paris on Friday, to discuss how France could take part in such an ambitious project as the America’s Cup.
– Bruno and Loïck Peyron have also announced they are in talks with Stéphane Kandler, Jochen Schümann (twice winner of the America’s Cup) and their ALL4ONE team, with the prospect of bringing the two groups together.
Are the French able to win the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest international sporting trophy? A goal, which France, ever since Baron Bich’s first challenge in 1967, has been unable to reach. It is certainly a very complex project, even though no one doubts the ability of French designers, sailors and builders, this is not by itself enough to guarantee success.
The America’s Cup, just like Formula 1 motor racing, is a global event, an economic and technological war, just as much as being a sporting challenge. Between now and the end of March, the new team that is being formed will have to prove it has got what it takes to commit itself. They will then have three years ahead of them to prove they can win.
The America’s Cup revolution of 2013
For 2013, something which no one really expected is happening. The Defender and Challenger of Record announced on 13th September that the 34th America’s Cup will be raced aboard multihulls, and more precisely on 72-foot catamarans with rigid wingsails. This announcement led to a wave of optimism from the French, meaning the conquest of the Silver Ewer is more likely to be within the grasp of the world’s leading multihull specialists in France.
A sacred union of multihull racers
After doing battle for 30 years on the world’s oceans and between them obtaining the finest list of successes in ocean racing, Loïck and Bruno Peyron coming together is an unprecedented opportunity for the French in challenging for the America’s Cup.
The two brothers have set a target of three months to try to bring together all the necessary personnel and resources, from a sporting, technological and economic perspective, to achieve this goal.
This major challenge is open to all the talents in France and abroad with the aim of bringing together the two worlds of multihull racing and the America’s Cup, to try and conquer the most famous sailing event in the world.
Bruno Peyron: “With the America’s Cup being organised for the first time with multihulls, the challenge is clear for us: Is France, the world leader in multihulls for 30 years capable of capitalising on its assets or will it allow other nations to catch up in three years, what we have acquired over 30? We have three months ahead of us to answer that question and three years to show what we can do. Looking beyond individual concerns, and any protectionism, I am convinced that we need to unite to be in with a chance of winning. This first symbolic step must build the foundations to allow skills, wherever they come from to be brought together.
This will be carried out at a pace suiting everyone, but remaining open is a key aspect of achieving this goal. Are we being idealistic? Is it impossible? We have already proven that what seems impossible is not always so.”
Loïck Peyron: “We’ve always been told and quite rightly that the America’s Cup is reserved for specialists…which is good news for us! From Formula 18 to the Route du Rhum and not forgetting the Jules Verne Trophy, the French are specialists in multihulls, so let’s go for it … together.”
Russell Coutts: “The new format of The America’s Cup is a great opportunity for a country such as France which counts with some of the best multihull skills in the world. Bruno and Loick Peyron each have a fantastic record in racing multihulls successfully as well as creating and taking part in top level events. I am really gratified to see that they share a similar vision for transforming the America’s Cup and the new opportunities created for teams with imagination and ambition. I have no doubt that Bruno & Loick Peyron will put together a strong team and prove to be tough competitors.”
Photo Credit: © Vincent Curutchet / DPPI