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The New Mari Cha IV During Sea Trials

Photos courtesy of Thierry Martinez

With the vision of building a 140' megayacht totally dedicated to racing, the design team of Philippe Briand, Greg Elliott and Clay Oliver was assembled. Under the guidance of Jean Francois D'Etiveaud as project manager, and built at JMV Shipyard in Cherbourg france, the stunning speed machine was completed.

The owner's previous yacht, Mari Cha III, was successful in taking the Transatlantic record in 1998. The new Mari Cha has taken aim at beating the great sailing records of all time. In order for the records to qualify, the yacht must be totally manually operated. To achieve this, the sailplan was split between two equal size masts allowing any maximum sail unit to still be handled by winches and pedestals operated solely with the manpower of the 25 person crew. The yachts upwind sail area is 904 square meters with 1415 square meters for downwind runs.

Once sail power had thus been defined, several variations in length, hull form and appendages were tested for a year and a half. Tank testing was carried out at the Wolfson Unit while wind tunnel testing was done at the Auckland University. Besides her keel which cants by +/- 40 degrees, the whole yacht is made of carbon to keep it as light as possible.

The first attempt at the Transatlantic record might be as soon as this autumn (2003).

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