The first IMOCA Open 60s with lifting technique are launched

It is becoming more and more common to see boats flying. Well, at least it seems as if they’re flying when their foils, usually lateral planes, lift them out of the water. This (r)evolution in watersports has now reached the top class of offshore racing boats: the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA). New construction rules of the class allow the integration of foiling technique on-board these Open 60-racers. The first Open 60 with foils, Safran skippered by Morgan Lagravière, has just been christened. No other than the Banque Populaire XIII of skipper Armel Le Cléac’h will follow soon. Both yachts have been designed by French naval architects VPLP/Verdier.

So how does foiling work on these next-generation monohulls? Oother boats, such as the AC-catamarans and dinghies, take up completely. But the IMOCA 60 won’t. Due to the L-shaped lateral foils, their bow will lift significantly out of the water. Therewith, the part of the hull’s surface that touches water will be reduced, waves can be crossed more easily and speed is expected to increase by approximately two knots on downwind courses.

The excited skippers and their teams are going to test the boats in a couple of offshore races and trials before taking off for the next Vendée Globe in November 2016. It is known to be the toughest solo round-the-world race. Non-stop, but with foils this time…


Launch date: March 5, 2015

Home port: La Trinité-sur-Mer (Morbihan / France)

Architects: The VPLP firm and Guillaume Verdier

Livery / visual design: Isabelle Keller

Manufacturer: CDK naval boatyard

Length: 18.28m (60ft)

Beam: 5.80m

Hull draught: 4.50m

Mast: Rotating wing

Mainsail: 160m²

Gennaker: 280m²

Solen: 150m²

Staysail: 100m²


SAFRAN getting ready for launch earlier in March.


Rendering of the Banque Populaire XIII to be launched in the very near future.

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