Tuesday 26th October 2010

Bruno et Loick Peyron
© Vincent Curutchet / DPPI -    After studying the matter for several months and following various discussions, the French sailors Loïck and Bruno Peyron are getting together in an attempt to unite the leading figures from French multihull sailing. This new challenge is being set up with the goal of bringing the America’s Cup, which will be raced on multihulls in 2013, to France for the first time in its history.

-   A meeting between Russell Coutts, representing the Defender and organizer of the 34th America’s Cup, and the Peyron brothers was held in Paris on Friday, to discuss how France could take part in such an ambitious project as the America’s Cup.

-    Bruno and Loïck Peyron have also announced they are in talks with Stéphane Kandler, Jochen Schümann (twice winner of the America’s Cup) and their ALL4ONE team, with the prospect of bringing the two groups together.

Are the French able to win the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest international sporting trophy? A goal, which France, ever since Baron Bich’s first challenge in 1967, has been unable to reach. It is certainly a very complex project, even though no one doubts the ability of French designers, sailors and builders, this is not by itself enough to guarantee success.

The America’s Cup, just like Formula 1 motor racing, is a global event, an economic and technological war, just as much as being a sporting challenge. Between now and the end of March, the new team that is being formed will have to prove it has got what it takes to commit itself. They will then have three years ahead of them to prove they can win.

The America’s Cup revolution of 2013
For 2013, something which no one really expected is happening. The Defender and Challenger of Record announced on 13th September that the 34th America’s Cup will be raced aboard multihulls, and more precisely on 72-foot catamarans with rigid wingsails. This announcement  led to a wave of optimism from the French, meaning the conquest of the Silver Ewer is more likely to be within the grasp of the world’s leading multihull specialists in France.

A sacred union of multihull racers
After doing battle for 30 years on the world’s oceans and between them obtaining the finest list of successes in ocean racing, Loïck and Bruno Peyron coming together is an unprecedented opportunity for the French in challenging for the America’s Cup.

Bruno et Loick Peyron
© Vincent Curutchet / DPPI(97ko) The two brothers have set a target of three months to try to bring together all the necessary personnel and resources, from a sporting, technological and economic perspective, to achieve this goal.

This major challenge is open to all the talents in France and abroad with the aim of bringing together the two worlds of multihull racing and the America’s Cup, to try and  conquer the most famous sailing event in the world.

Bruno Peyron: “With the America’s Cup being organized for the first time with multihulls, the challenge is clear for us: Is France, the world leader in multihulls for 30 years capable of capitalizing on its assets  or will it allow other nations to catch up in three years, what we have acquired over 30? We have three months ahead of us to answer that question and three years to show what we can do. Looking beyond individual concerns, and any protectionism, I am convinced that we need to unite to be in with a chance of winning. This first symbolic step must build the foundations to allow skills, wherever they come from to be brought together.

This will be carried out at a pace suiting everyone, but remaining open is a key aspect of achieving this goal. Are we being idealistic? Is it impossible? We have already proven that what seems impossible is not always so."

Loïck Peyron: “We’ve always been told and quite rightly that the America’s Cup is reserved for specialists...which is good news for us! From Formula 18 to the Route du Rhum and not forgetting the Jules Verne Trophy, the French are specialists in multihulls, so let’s go for it ... together.”

Russell Coutts: “The new format of The America's Cup is a great opportunity for a country such as France which counts with some of the best multihull skills in the world. Bruno and Loick Peyron each have a fantastic record in racing multihulls successfully as well as creating and taking part in top level events. I am really gratified to see that they share a similar vision for transforming the America's Cup and the new opportunities created for teams with imagination and ambition. I have no doubt that Bruno & Loick Peyron will put together a strong team and prove to be tough competitors.”

Extracts from the list of Loïck and Bruno Peyron’s achievements

Loïck Peyron
•    Helmsman with Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup (2010)
•    Triple winner of the Transatlantic race from Plymouth (1992, 1996, 2008)
•    Winner and second in the Quebec-Saint Malo (1988, 1996)
•    Twice winner and three times on the podium of the Transat Jacques Vabre (1993, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005)
•    43 Atlantic crossings, including 17 solo crossings
•    2nd in The Race (2000-2001)
•    2nd in the Vendée Globe (1989-1990)
•    5 ORMA championship titles
•    16 Grand Prix wins
•    8 times winner of the Clairefontaine Trophy
•    Twice winner of the D35 championship and the Bol d’Or

Bruno Peyron
•    Founder of The Race (2000 / 2001)
•    Three times holder of the Jules-Verne Trophy (1993, 2002, 2005)
•    Three Atlantic records (1987, 1992, 2006)
•    5 North and South Pacific records (1997, 1998, 1993, 2002, 2005)
•    5 24-hour records (1982, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006)
•    39 ocean records
•    8 times world number 1 in ocean records
•    3 nominations for the title of Yachtsman of The Year

France and the America’s Cup
Created in 1851, the America's Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. For more than 150 years, it has been hotly contested by those trying to win it. In fact, it is the winner – the Defender – who determines the venue for the next Cup, while the Challenger(s) has/have to go there to try to overcome the Defender.
France took part for the first time in 1967 thanks to Baron Bich, who would back three boats in a row (France I, II and III). In 1980, France III with Bruno Troublé at the helm was to be the challenger that went the furthest, but they fell at the final hurdle in the Challengers’ final against Australia. There then followed the challenges launched by Marc Pajot (1987, 1992 and 1995), then le Defi team with Pierre Mas, Luc Gellusseau and Xavier de Lesquen in  2000 and 2003. Finally in 2007, Areva Challenge led by Stéphane Kandler, aided by Dawn Riley and Thierry Péponnet, and would finish in 8th place in the Louis Vuitton Cup.

The America’s Cup in numbers
•    33 editions of the America’s Cup have taken place between 1870 and 2010
•    Only four countries have ever won the America’s Cup: the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland
     -    28 editions defended by the United States : from 1870 to 1983, 1988, 1992, 1995
     -    1 edition defended by Australia: 1987
     -    2 editions defended by New Zealand: 2000 and 2003
     -    2 editions defended  by Switzerland: 2007 and 2010
•    7 countries have raced in the America’s Cup (England, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and the United States)
•    6 venues have hosted the event in 159 years: New York (USA), Newport (USA), Fremantle (AUS), San Diego (USA), Auckland (NZL) and Valencia (ESP)
•    1 single trophy: the America’s Cup.