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The 12 tasks of the Vendée Globe

Quentin Lucet, Daniele Capua and Xavier Guisnel are responsible for IMOCA design at VPLP. In collaboration with Guillaume Verdier and his team they produced twelve of the boats sailing in this year’s Vendée Globe. Let’s hear what they have to say about them.


  • #1 QUEGUINER-LEUCÉMIE ESPOIR (2007): “She was the first in the series, launched as Safran with Marc Guillemot at the helm. She remains a reference in terms of performance and the impact her design had on the IMOCAs.”
  • #2 LE SOUFFLE DU NORD (2007): “Safran’s little sister, built at the same time for Kito and Groupe Bel, with identical hull and structure. Two Vendée Globes, two withdrawals: this time it’s going to be the one!”
  • #3 PRB (2009): “With the same hull as Safran, Vincent Riou’s machine has been optimized in every detail to become the most dangerous non-foiler in the fleet… and the only VPLP/Verdier design to keep the same skipper and the same sponsor!”


  • #4 BASTIDE OTIO (2010): “Formerly Virbac-Paprec III, then Hugo Boss, she’s the first of our second generation IMOCAs with a new, more powerful hull. She knows the route because she won the Barcelona World Race in 2011 and made fourth place – minus her keel – in the following Vendée Globe.”
  • #5 MAITRE COQ (2010): “Ah, that’s the old Foncia, we can still see Michel Desjoyeaux’s influence in her deck layout, his famous “gull wing”, and a slightly different structure. Jérémie Beyou added a pair of foils to her this year.”
  • #6 SMA (2011): “Formerly Macif, she had a brilliant career under the command of François Gabart, notching up victories in the Vendée Globe and the Route du Rhum. Back then she was Foncia’s sister-ship, optimized in terms of weight.”


  • #7 SAFRAN (2015): “Just like 2007, this Safran leads the way in the new generation of foiling IMOCAs. She’s not a continuation of Macif because we started out from scratch, as we did for the first Safran, which had a great influence on us.”
  • #8 BANQUE POPULAIRE VIII (2015): “Her hull is identical to Safran’s, but the appendages and the shape of the deck are different. Banque Populaire’s technical team were very involved throughout the process to optimize the boat, one of the most accomplished in this Vendée Globe.”
  • #9 EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (2015): “Unlike Safran/Banque Populaire, which are made for reaching, the design brief from the Gitana team focused on flexibility. We did a lot of work on the layout of the deck, the centre of gravity and trimming the gear.”
  • #10 STMICHEL-VIRBAC (2015): “Jean-Pierre is the only skipper to order two boats from us. His third IMOCA is a sister-ship to Edmond de Rothschild, but there are numerous differences, in particular the foils.”
  • #11 HUGO BOSS (2015): “Alex Thomson wanted a boat that sails ‘fucking fast’, and he got one! In design, she is the most radical of the foilers with less beam and greater tumblehome in the bow.”
  • #12 NO WAY BACK (2015): “Ex Vento di Sardegna, she used to be skippered by Andrea Mura before Pieter Heerema bought her. She is Banque Populaire’s little sister, gentler and extremely well built.”