Monday, December 4, 2017


The same naval architect, Guillaume Verdier. He is the one that is designing the new foiling VOR and the one that is mostly responsible for the new monohull concept for the new America's Cup Monohull. He was also a prominent member of the NZ America's Cup catamaran design team and probably had a significant role on NZ beating so clearly the American boat (Oracle), even if the budget from Oracle was vastly superior.

When that incredible type of America's cup monohull was announced I was surprised with the concept, but most of all surprised that the practicality of such a radical concept could have been studied in such a short time. I confess that I had some doubts about that, it seemed impossible to me.

What I did not know was that Guillaume Verdier, that is one of the leading members on the NZ america's cup design team, had already made, for a NZ client, a design of a 39ft sailing boat that worked in a similar way. The boat was never built but all the studies and simulations regarding stability were already done. That explains how it was possible to propose such a radical working concept so fast. That will give NZ team a good head start in what regards the design of the America's cup monohull.

It is strange Guillaume Verdier to remain unknown to many sailors to whom the names of Farr, Finot or Marc Lombard are very familiar, specially American sailors.

On the contrary he is very well known to those that are familiarized with top offshore racing, where his designs dominate, monohulls and multihulls alike.  

He studied naval architecture at the University of Southampton, the most renowned school of yacht design and they awarded him last year the honorary degree of Doctor of Technology. That is something, specially considering that this type of  honors come normally late in the life, as a premium for excepcional work on the field, however Verdier is only 47 and probably his best achievements are yet to come.

Not meaning that he has not yet made a huge contribution to sailing development, quite the contrary. He started his carrier, as a young NA, more than 20 years ago, working with some of the best, namely Finot/Conq. On their cabinet he contributed to the design of several winning IMOCA racers, two of them won the Vendee Globe, namely Christophe Auguin's Geodis (won the the 1996/1997 edition) and on PRB 3 the only IMOCA that has managed to win twice the Vendee Globe, the first in 2000/2001 with Michel Desjoyeaux  and the second in 2004/2005 with Vincent Riou.

More recently he has collaborated with VPLD (since  2006) and he continued designing winning IMOCA boats to a point that all top racers wanted their boats designed by him, leaving on the shadow names like Farr, Finot/Conq, Marc Lombard or JK. All the boats that finished on the top places on the last Vendee Globe were designed by him, in collaboration with VPLP.

He is the designer of the fastest mono-hull, Comanche and also some of the fastest multihulls, including Gitana 17 and Banque Populaire 9. But his talent was not only used to design big or very expensive racers: Remember some time ago a post about the mini transat and the incredible performance of Erwan and Clarisse that with production boats arrived with the first prototypes, hugely more expensive boats, made of carbon, with canting keels and foils? It was really a great performance but the boat that both were sailing gave a help, both had a Pogo 3, a Verdier design.

On the video below you can see him at the rudder of Maserati that he turned into a flying trimaran. He is trying to understand some problems that the skipper complains about, regarding flying ability.

Guillaume Verdier is the NA that is leading sailing developments to new frontiers and it's a name that all that like sailing and sailingboats should know. This post is my modest contribution to that. I am sure that he will continue to develop sail flying boats and winning boats to all offshore racing classes, I just hope  some day he applies his talent on the problem of designing better and faster performance cruisers.

Seven years ago he designed a performance cruiser for Jean-Pierre Dick, a very nice hull based on IMOCA but the interior, that was not designed by him, was an odd one, a science fiction space ship interior, that I would say would not please 99% cruisers, me included. What a waste for a beautiful boat!

To finish, an interesting interview with Verdier about the problems of flying big trimarans and on the last video the big Gitana 17 flying, an impressive view:


  1. I think that Verdier was reading my mind! I was thinking for long time that now is possible to design a boat with wide foils like a trimaran with the foils but without the lateral hulls. I founded many problems to solve, but I never imagine to ballast the foils, that solve all my problems.