They first appeared flying downwind at 17 knots in 6-7 knots of wind along the French coast of the lake some 3-4 nautical miles away and then gybed, continuing their flight like giant spiders down towards the rounding mark outside the harbor of Rolle where Dad was stationed with his camera and long lens.
Many of our readers probably do not know that fast multihulls generate their own wind and can reach a speed that is 2-3 times the wind speed. This is why they do not carry spinnakers when sailing downwind. You can see the sails sheeted in almost completely on their downwind run towards the rounding mark.
Someone back in the field had lost the rig during the gybing procedure just when the first of the foiling TF35-s approached the rounding mark and with its hull gently touching water to start its first upwind leg. Follow their rounding. with their enormous head sails tightly sheeted .
Shortly after the rounding they tacked back towards the French coast where the wind as usual was stronger but not enough to allow them back up on their foils.
The little M2-s rounded only a few minutes later. This catamaran weighs less than half of their bigger foiling sisters and is about 2 m shorter overall. You could clearly see that weight saving is the principal factor for speed in multihull sailing.
The winner of the race was the French boat Zoulou, here arriving to her home port to be lifted out of the water and stored ashore till her next race. Alinghi had damaged her wind vane after having almost capsized shortly after the start. We hope to be back with a new post after the Bol d'Or next week-end. Stay tuned!!