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The model ships of the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, as a pair, are faithful scale models of the two contrasting adversaries in the first-ever battle between two ironclad warships: the battle of Hampton Roads, in 1862, during the American Civil War. These ironclads pre-date the final wave of merchant sailing ships, represented in the Abordage range by the tea clipper Cutty Sark, and the romance embodied in that model contrasts with the realism of what was to come, embodied in these twin models.
This model of the CSS Virginia faithfully represents the Confederate States’ implementation of a metal warship, whereby a pre-existing, partly-burnt wooden ship was cladded with layers of iron plate to transform it completely (interestingly, a reverse of the construction of the Cutty Sark). The laser etching brings out the detail of its construction, emphasizing what must have seemed an impregnable adversary at the time to wood-and-sail contemporary warships. The fixed weaponry and surface fittings are all faithfully reproduced, as is the menacing ram at its bow, novel in warship design at the time, but made feasible because of the strength and perceived impregnability of the ironclad design.
These two carefully-reproduced ships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, show, side-by-side, the detail and contrast in the conception, design, and implementation of the protagonists in what was a huge leap forward in the technology of marine warfare, and represent a crucial turning point, coming midway between the major sea battles of Trafalgar and Jutland.
|Size||59 cm L 19 cm Hgh|
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.