preparation in Brittany despite a difficult situation.
As for the rest, it was of course disappointing not to start as planned in May. But looking back, I think we all realise that it would have been a bit unwise to go into a race like the Bol d’Or with little training and still some tuning gaps.
The boat No. 0 was a prototype that was not completely completed and destined to evolve. The computer system that stabilizes the flight has been adapted since those first sailings. It is an algorithm that learns from each experience, it feeds itself over time. When we hit Ylliam XII – Comptoir immobilier, it was already an evolution of the proto, and it flew much better and more stable. But there are still improvements to be made, especially around 20 knots of wind, when the boat goes faster than 30 knots. We are currently working on the high speeds.
There is already a lot of change in terms of logistics. For example, the TF35 can’t stay in the water all season, it is taken out regularly, and each outing requires more preparation and support. We have to connect the computer each time, make a precise program of what we are going to do.
At the navigation level, the flight behavior is also very different, and we had to adapt to this evolution in 3D. In particular, we have to use a new vocabulary. We talk about altitude, pitch…
There is indeed a little apprehension. We’ve been trying all summer to be able to dominate the boat a little bit, but when we’re in the fleet, with the competitive spirit, it’s going to bring a new dimension. The question of safety is going to be at the heart of it, and I hope that all the crews will play the game so as not to take too many risks. A crew member who falls overboard can suffer serious injuries with the foils. The rules may have to change a bit to ensure safety.
The rules are not the same as those for the other boats.
This is a new beginning for us. There are teams that have been sailing almost full time since they got their boat. We are still amateurs, and will have to build up our knowledge again. Alinghi, Spindrift or the newcomer Zoulou will probably dominate the fleet at first. Artexplora is a newcomer to the series and will have to find its feet. We hope to sail in the middle of the rankings, at least initially.