Archambault has won the contract to build the next international one-design raceboat for the Tour de France à la Voile.
The sleek M34 was conceived as the replacement for the Farr 30 (formerly Mumm), which has been used for the past 12 years. It was chosen from a shortlist of three finalists after Tour organisers received 23 design submissions from nine nations.
The moulds of the M34 will be built from September and testing and marketing will begin next March.
Rarely does the Tour change boats, with only three yachts being used in the past 26 years. The design brief demanded a construction strong enough to last at least 10 years at the top.
The race mixes technical regattas (triangles) with coastal and offshore legs up to 200 miles long, allowing amateurs and students to sail against professionals aboard identical craft.
Moreover, the design brief required easy transportation by road, a reasonable draft to enter into ports, no more than five to six crews, and a retractable sprit for an asymmetrical spinnaker.
On the shortlist were the JPK 998 designed by Jacques Valer, the One Design T2011 designed by Russel Coutts/Andrej Justin, and finally the M34.
“This project offered the most original choices,” William Borel said of the Archambault. “It strictly respects the design brief according to the budget safeties, and the Archambault boatyard guaranties the international aspect with more than 1650 Surprises sailing across the world since 1977.”
The new boat is longer than the Farr 30, more modern and better suited to offshore legs. With a superior sail area/displacement ratio it will sail 0.5 knots faster upwind and much quicker downwind.
The Australian importers of Archambault yachts, Newcastle Yachting and the Archambault Australia dealer network, can assist local teams who are considering entering the Tour de France or transatlantic race.
Sales and Marketing manager Mark Rothfield also feels the M34 would be perfect for Australian conditions.
“This is a pure, unadulterated race yacht with scintillating performance and the added bonus of shallow draft and full trailability,” Rothfield said.
“With a suitable tow vehicle and permit a buyer could feasibly do the major regatta circuit from Geelong to Sydney and Hamilton Island for the cost of fuel!”
Archambault's IRC racing yachts – the A35, A40rc and brand new A31 – are also enjoying outstanding success in Australia, with an A40rc poised to win the 2009 Audi Australian IRC Championship.
For full details or to find your nearest dealer, call Newcastle Yachting/Archambault Australia on (02) 4962 5288, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archambault M34 Specifications
Sail area upwind: 72m2