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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupOrient Express Racing Team’s AC75 arrives in a safe harbour

Orient Express Racing Team’s AC75 arrives in a safe harbour

The high-tech race boat of the French challenger for the 2024 America’s Cup has arrived safely at its Barcelona base after a four-day journey covering 1,400 kilometres on national roads and through small French villages.

The Orient Express Racing Team’s 23-metre monohull AC75 is now settled in the Catalan city at the French base located near the entrance to Port Vell ahead of the 37th America’s Cup, which will take place between the end of August and October this year.

On Saturday the 6th of April at 02:30, escorted by Spanish police, the AC75 was delivered to an area provided by Transmed, under the watchful eyes of the team skipper Quentin Delapierre and members of the Orient Express Racing Team.

Its arrival follows some 60,000 hours of work since September 2023 by a core team of 35 — going up to at times 60 people — led by the Technical Director Antoine Carraz utilising the wide-ranging skills of the entire French marine industry.

A key exciting and emotional step

While still dark on Tuesday over the Gulf of Morbihan, a small group worked diligently in one of the hangars at the Multiplast shipyard with an unusual package — 23 metres long and 5.50 metres wide. The AC75 was unrecognisable, covered with foam blocks and a large tarpaulin to conceal its shape.

Under the watchful eyes of the many technicians who worked in the construction, the Orient Express Racing Team rolled the hull out and placed it on a truck provided by French transportation specialists Augizeau. The convoy, with a carefully planned and prepared route, set off at 10:30 for Spain, escorted by two motorcycles and two vehicles.

“What a great day. We have had good times on this construction, seeing it leave today is emotional and it is the end of an adventure we are proud of,” said one of the Multiplast team members who worked in the final weeks on the construction of the foiling monohull which will be capable of reaching top speeds of 55 knots (100 km/h).

Antoine Carraz, the Technical Director and Construction Manager, was happy to have met the delivery deadlines and see the delivery completed: “The size is very imposing. Even though the journey was well planned, there is always something that can happen on these convoys, which are bound by a legislation that means you need to take B-roads. At times you might have to dismantle a sign or move things to make way…

“Today I am extremely happy to see Orient Express Racing Team’s AC75 safely in its Spanish base. This is an important step in our project and brings a seven-month collaboration between both our team and the Multiplast build teams, to a close. We were able to meet this challenge and meet the short deadline that we set ourselves a year ago thanks to the involvement, skills and work of a team that, at its peak, reached 60 people. A big shout out and a big thank you to everyone.”

Concentration and dedication before the first sail

Following the arrival of the boat that will allow the French team to proudly represent the nation and its club, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the French team composed of about 10 departments and made up of 120 people remains focused on what lies ahead. Hydraulics, electronics, mechatronics, composites, specialists in appendages, and then simultaneously, the riggers who work on the mast arrived in mid-March, each in their role will strive to conclude preparations on the AC75, expected to be sailing in about two months.

In the meantime, the sailors will continue training on simulators and on their AC40, converted into LEQ 12 mode, a laboratory that allows them to test the systems that will be implemented on the AC75.

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