Le Défi Français 2000

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Le Défi Français 2000 Expand

6ème Sens, Le Défi Français Half hull from America's cup.

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$295.00

Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with orange and blue paint and logo graphics Mounted on 5mm plexiglas.

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Year2000
Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)
Size75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh

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Le Défi Français 2000

Le Défi Français 2000

1999 sees a new challenge structure with a dynamic, resourceful and youthful syndicate. Originally called "Yaka," ( French slang for 'just do it' ) the syndicate is the brainchild of Luc Gellusseau and Pierre Mas, of Corum Sailing Team fame.

Gellusseau who now runs the technical and design team, has managed to group together the best bits of the previous French challenges along with a large quantity of new, young talent. He and Mas realised that it was important to stay out of French national politics and to that end the syndicate is a relatively small budget operation.The sponsorship was supplied early by two technology companies, Bouygues Telecom and Transiciel. Le Defi, as it is now called, only dreamt of building one boat and are well organised, completely transparent and very motivated.

Bertrand Pacé is at the helm of the boat "6eme sens"Thierry Pepponet is tactician and the well-respected Dutchman Marcel van Triest is navigator. Pacé, undoubtly France's most talented helmsman today, is a top ranked match racer - world champion in 1994 and runner-up in 1998 - commands huge loyalty amongst his crew and is mature in his approach after three Cups.The "6eme sens" boat design team includes such notables as Bernard Nivelt and Daniel Andrieu along with other names from the French world of composite structures and aerodynamics.

The stated goal of the French Team was to do a good and to get to the Louis Vuitton semi-finals.They succeeded with their victory against America one, and reached to an honorable 6th rank. See also "6eme Sens" half hull.

There was a crowd in attendance at the launch of the third America's Cup defender designed and built by the Herreshoff brothers. As ever, the boat has been built in an utmost secrecy, forbidding the access of the yard to every journalists and photographers. This time the defender helm was put in the hands of Charles Barr. This was the first time that the famous Scottish skipper, living in he States for some years , had been entrusted with a defender. Captain Nat  was to be his co-skipper.

As John Brown predicted, Columbia's steel mast broke after the first trials, due to electrolysis. It was replaced by another in Oregon pine for the rest of the trials. The final race was held on October 20th. The struggle was hard and none of the two teams managed to take a decisive advantage till the last mark. The two were now both fighting against the wind. They heeled over impressively, stemposts dipping into the spray and lifting immense cascades of water.Throughout this first windward beat, Archie Hogarth tried all he knew to escape Columbia, who was controlling him mercilessly. Columbia obviously cut better through the choppy sea, whereas Shamrock had to force her way through and tossed violently the Defender flying her mainsail, staysail and jib, performed marvellously and hauled the wind without losing speed, her sais always full. Scarcely 5 minutes after rounding the mark, Columbia had the race in her pocket. Shamrock tacked first after 20 mninutes, followed the Americans. The difference separating the two yachts could now be seen, since, from the same initial point, Columbia was already 1/8 mile to windward of the Irish. Barr decided to slacken off to avoid breakages and to make sure of victory, as he was a quarter of a mile to windward of his pursuer, and won easily.

The American skipper and the defender had fulfilled their contract, with their three crushing victories over Sir Thomas Lipton's yacht. Columbia had no difficulty in beating Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock, designed by Fife Jr III. Before his promise to come back to the following America's Cup, Sir Thomas Lipton paid tribute to his rival: "Mister Herreshoff has shown that he is the greatest yacht designer in the world".

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