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Gabart And Team Settle Dispute With Ultim Class

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  • Gabart And Team Settle Dispute With Ultim Class

    Francois Gabart finally ready to modify his trimaran

    By Stefan L'Hermitte:

    We may be getting closer to a way out of the dispute in the conflict between owners of the Ultim trimaran, the team surrounding Gabart accepting a modification to the cockpit which has been the subject of a dispute for more than a year.

    It's a small step that could change everything in the crisis, which seemed unresolved, which has pitted the owners of Ultim multihulls against each other for more than a year. Francois Gabart, and his sponsor Didier Tabary (SVR Lazartigue), are in the process of accepting and marginally modifying their trimaran, which is the subject of a compliance trial.

    The Route du Rhum, a truce between Fran?ois Gabart and the other competitors

    A discreet meeting was held on the last Friday of the boat show in early December, in an atmosphere that promised to be tense and final. Cyril Dardashti (Edmond de Rothschild), leader of the "legalists", which also includes Banque Populaire and Sodebo, to a lesser degree Actual, had announced a dark color two days earlier during his visit to L'Equipe : "Either Francois agrees to modify his boat, or we will do without him” , and in particular his possible participation in the possible solo round the world race which could start in early 2024 from Brest.

    Francois Gabart was not physically present during this meeting, but his absence did not have to be interpreted as sulking. He had been operated on for a permanently damaged meniscus during a local regatta a few days after the finish of the Route du Rhum. The president of the FFV had sent everyone a letter calling for dialogue, which could not have been the case, even around an arranged rum, in Pointe-?-Pitre.

    Addition of a glazed outgrowth above the current bridge
    It seems that both parties understood that the hardline would harm everyone. “We managed to talk to each other calmly, confides a team-manager. It's quite unusual to want to respect what we have agreed to regarding confidentiality."

    Some hatches remaining open, L'Equipe is able to reveal that the Gabart clan is ready to marginally modify its boat "without touching its DNA" , with the addition, very slightly above the current deck, which There is no visible cockpit, a small glazed protrusion, with an elevated interior platform, which would allow the wincher (the one who pulls on the ropes) to have his head stick out when he is operating. It would therefore be well above the bridge, which would dilute the ambiguity around the highly disputed rule 3.11 (international safety rules) which, as Charles Caudrelier, winner of the Rum, said three hours before Fran?ois Gabart, "n' is not interpreted the same by everyone.

    This "step" would avoid the two extreme hypotheses, either the secession of Gabart, who could then settle for records and snub the races reserved for the class, or recourse, again to justice (which had granted an exemption during the Rum) , with chances of success estimated among the lawyers surrounding Gabart “at sixty percent. ?

    “This affair started on a question of security, then it turned into performance, it ended in a war of egos”

    An actor in the file

    The VPLP firm, author of SVR Lazartigue, is therefore working on this modification of the plan. "We are discussing", just recognizes Vincent Lauriot-Prevost, architect of Francois Gabart's trimaran. It will remain for the two parties to sign a definitive agreement, perhaps via a protocol, perhaps under the aegis of a powerful secretary general, being recruited by the class, who would guarantee a certain independence. Will remain (twice) at World Sailing, which was hardly interested in offshore sailing but which nevertheless seems to guarantee the rules, to endorse everything, which is not necessarily won even if the international institution is fed up with it of the difference between small French.

    "This affair started on a question of safety (Gabart would have no serious visibility from his buried cockpit), notes an actor in the file, after it turned on the perf ' (the supposed aerodynamic advantage), it was ended with a war of egos (with exchanges of not humorous protrusions), finally, realism takes over . Finally... SVR Lazartigue, which recently entered the winter yard, could therefore come out different in the spring.
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