Breaking News:

Orient express showcase stunning design and livery

Orient Express Racing Team, the charismatic French challenger for the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup, today unveiled the boat that all of France hopes will finally deliver victory to this sailing-mad nation. And what a sight she was, with a classy royal blue livery and a hull-form very similar to her effective sister-ship ‘Taihoro’ of Emirates Team New Zealand.

The shore team have been burning the midnight oil to fit her out, ready for launch later this week and the boat is the result of some 46,000 hours of build time from the famous Multiplast yard that has produced more winning boats than just about any other yard on the planet.

Observing the reveal early this morning was yachting journalist Justin Chisholm from the Recon Team and his observations were on point: Orient Express Racing Team revealed their new AC75 race boat for the first time today for a mast stepping day that began with an 0630 rollout. First sight of the hull as it was eased from the shed revealed the French boat to be very much a sister ship to the Kiwi’s latest generation AC75 ‘Taihoro’.

Liveried in royal blue and with a stylish thin gold stripe weaving its way from the bow to the stern, the new French boat sported white logo-ed foil arms with all black foil stocks and blades. Perhaps because of the single colour finish, it was hard to see if the bow included the slight step near the waterline which is so noticeable on the Kiwi boat – although comments from the team suggested that it does. Our 90-degree starboard side view did not give much indication of the stern profile.

The port foil stock, and wing were confirmed by the team as being legacy components from Emirates Team New Zealand. An elliptical wing with turned-up tips was mounted aft of a long large-form-factor bulb. As well as a narrower foil stock, an all-new elliptical foil on the starboard side (with turned up tips) was mounted aft on a short, small form-factor bulb with very little protrusion forward of the foil stock.

As seen previously on the Kiwi AC75 the French boat has a pronounced full-length bustle that appeared to match its New Zealand sistership. Although impossible to observe from the ground, we were told the deck is painted all white for the purpose of heat reflection from the Mediterranean summer sun.

After rolling out at 0630 the mast was craned upright at 0734 and lowered onto the boat at 0745 with the rigging attached using pronounced rake by 0815. A member of the shore crew was sent up the mast at 0842 and spent 20 minutes working on / checking over the stay termination points at the top of the mast.

At 0910 another person was sent up the mast and spent five minutes working on the outer ends of the spreaders before the shrouds and forestay were disconnected and the mast was lifted off the boat at 0930.

The mast was laid horizontal in its supports by 0945 and the shore crew spent 20 minutes working on it – reportedly changing out a shroud loop. The mast was back in the crane by 1015 and relocated on the boat by 1030. Several hours of testing and calibration followed before the mast was removed at 1323 and laid flat at 1335, with it and the boat being rolled back in their respective hangars by 1400.

In other news, Orient Express Racing Team announced that their Women’s America’s Cup team has been notching up time on the AC40 in Barcelona and recently secured a 5th place in the first round of the ETF26 series in Murcia – vital team building and skill honing opportunities. Next week, along with the Youth team, the Women return to Barcelona for a fresh round of training on the AC40. During their last AC40 session the Youth team took a few tumbles but were all smiles and adrenalin after a day of 40 knot boatspeed! They too are securing as much racing time together as possible, posting a 2nd place overall at the Youth Foiling Gold Cup at Lake Garda in their foiling 69F.

Orient Express Racing Team also announced that they have laid down foundations for their team that reach beyond the 37th America’s Cup, signing a long-term alliance with one of France’s most dynamic and technological sailing regions, Lorient Agglomération. The agreement will see the team based at the heart of the new ‘Péristyle’ eco-neighbourhood in Lorient from 2025.

It’s all happening for Orient Express Racing Team at the moment with their christening ceremony being held on Wednesday 29th being live-streamed to the world on YouTube before their first scheduled sailing day on Tuesday 4th June. Excitement is building and expectations are rising – Vive La France!