Launched on June 18, the TF35 catamaran Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier has completed her first sailing sessions. They were essentially devoted to making her more reliable and fine-tuning her. Although the boat has sometimes proved to be fierce, the progress made since the first sailing sessions is obvious. The team is looking forward to continuing the training.
Six outings were able to be completed by the Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier crew during their first training session. The first sailings were devoted to making the boat reliable, calibrating and fine-tuning it. Work on maneuvers and performance optimization was also able to begin.
Many details have been worked out since the first releases. Apart from the sailing, the crew have spent their time fine-tuning the preparation of the catamaran. Fitting a reinforcement or manoeuvring protection, marking the current rigging elements to have precise reference points for adjustments, calibrating the computer… There has been no shortage of work, and the days have been busy.
“We have a system that records all the navigation data, explains Erwan Israël, busy setting up data on a tablet. He continues, everything is connected. At this stage, the recording is done at a frequency of 1 Hertz, or once a second. But we are working to increase that frequency. All this data can be analyzed and should be used to optimize each navigation. The developers of the flight system will also have access to the parameters of all the boats, and will proceed to a permanent improvement of the program. “
On the outbound management side, the organisation has little in common with that of the D35. The security issue is put at the center. Each member of the team must carefully equip themselves with a helmet and a shock-proof vest before going out on the water. The risks of impact with a foil in the event of a fall into the water, at speeds approaching 70 km/h, are not to be taken lightly. It is essential to limit them. In addition to the impact protection, each crew member still has a knife that can be used to free himself in the event of a capsize. He also has a mini-breathing device intended to save life, if someone gets trapped underwater.
“We started by putting these systems on every man, Teva Plichart notes. Then we decided to attach them to the front beam, so they would be available in case of a rollover, as the rules allow. But these have evolved, and we are waiting for new models, with a separate regulator that we can wear on each vest. It takes a long time to get the military equipment delivered. But we should have the whole set for the next sessions. “
At this point, the catamaran has already exceeded 30 knots (about 60 km/h). It has been sailing in fairly supported conditions of nearly 20 knots of wind. “It’s very different what we experienced during our session in Spain on boat number 0, explains Florian Trub, reserve crewman and pilot of the motorboat. We never had more than 8 knots of wind on those winter outings. Here, with wind, everything becomes more complicated. And it takes almost 6 hours of work for 2 hours of sailing. It’s quite laborious, but really interesting. “
The crew unanimously emphasizes the impressive evolution of the flight system. “We can really feel the difference with the first sorties, says Thierry Briend.And it’s going to get better and better. We’re going to continue to tame the catamaran and how it works, and things are going to get easier as we sail.“
In terms of training, the team has also been able to start focusing on the purely sporting part. “We went from tuning mode, to training mode, explains Pierre Pennec, mainsail traveller trimmer. We started working on communication in manoeuvres. Even if we are all used to sailing together, it is a fundamental aspect that requires adaptations. The boat anchors a lot, goes very fast, and is very noisy. So we have to set up modes to understand each other very quickly in this very constraining environment. “
On the last outing of the session, when the airs were blowing quite hard, around 20 knots. The catamaran crashed after accelerating to 35 knots, falling back from its “flight” mode into the liquid element within seconds. Two people were ejected onto the trampoline, and slightly injured. The event reminded everyone of the importance of staying safe, and keeping control of the boat. “There was an accumulation of small mistakes,details to conclude Thierry Briend.The hours of training should allow us to gain experience, and of course avoid this type of problem. “
A second one-week session has just finished allowing the crew to train and adjust the settings. Another one-week session is still on the schedule for the crew of Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier at the end of August in order to fine-tune the strategy before the training regattas with the seven boats which are normally scheduled as early as September.
Did you know?
Thierry Briend, mainsail trimmer on Ylliam XII – Comptoir Immobilier, is preparing for the Jules Verne Trophy in parallel with his TF35 commitment. This is the absolute record for sailing around the world with a crew. It is held by Francis Joyon and his men, who smashed this reference time in 2017 by completing the loop in just 40 days and 23 hours.
Thierry Briend has been a member of French skipper Thomas Coville’s crew for twenty years. The latter will embark on this attempt aboard Sodebo Ultim, a 32-metre trimaran equipped with foils. Six sailors will be on board for the adventure. The sailors will be on stand-by from November onwards, waiting for a favourable weather window to set off. The start and finish line is located between Ushant, in the far west of Brittany, and Cape Lizard, the southernmost point of Great Britain.