Sp-High Modulus Plays Pivotal Role in Prestigious Race

19 January 2010

SP-High Modulus will supply materials, engineering and expertise for the M34, which will compete in the Tour de France à la Voile.

The craft will feature a range of materials, including an epoxy resin system, Corecell M-Foam core and an E-glass carbon/glass fabric especially made for this project. SP High Modulus has also worked alongside Aster Composite Company on the hull and deck process, as well as working with Isotop on the carbon/epoxy rudder, keel and bowsprit.

Archambault won the design competition, beating off around thirty other entries. Their winning design, M34, is one metre longer than its predecessor, the Farr 30, at 10.34 metres, and is said to be more powerful due to a greater sail area/displacement ratio.

The new design will also be able to sail longer offshore legs, allowing for the opportunity to create the first transatlantic race with a crew on a ‘one design’ boat.

The Tour de France à la Voile is an annual yachting race around the coast of France. The race is unique in that every team uses the same boat so that their sailing skills are judged above all else. Since the event’s establishment in 1978, only six monotypes have been used. So when the brief was issued in September 2008, one of the criteria was that the boat should be sturdy enough for up to ten year’s racing.

Thirty boats, at a rate of five units a month, will be needed to meet the race date of July 2011.

The manufacture of the first M34 unit began this month.

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