In the beginning, a meeting and the first step:
In 2008, Marco Simeoni, the director of a company based in Switzerland’s Vaud region, had just created a holding company, Veltigroup, and was looking for the best means of communicating it, when he got to know Swiss skipper, Stève Ravussin. Out of this meeting came the fitting-out of a new catamaran for a leading Swiss championship; an endorsement followed and a Decision 35 began to sport the colours of Veltigroup.
The revival of the oceanic multihull:
The 1980s saw the advent of the multihull with a number of great projects, but on the whole they were overambitious. The result was that in the following years all the main players were keen to redefine the frames with strict dimensions. That saw the birth of the 60ft multihulls; it was a measurement which was unified in a class known as the ORMA (Ocean Racing Multihull Association), and governed according to an open class measurement.
After 15 years of adventures offshore and following the 2006 Route du Rhum, the ORMA class was in a state of flux: there were changes on the board of directors and the nomination of a new president, Patrick Chapuis, and executive chairman, Franck David.
At the start of the 2008 Vendée Globe, Stève Ravussin and Franck David, who had been part of Ravussin’s various sailing projects since 1999, presented the Multi One Design project to Marco Simeoni. Its ethos centred on completely identical oceanic multihulls.
The concept of everyone racing on an equal footing on the world’s oceans appealed to the Swiss company director. Simeoni was keen to invest and work on the idea and refined the overall concept by bringing an international and eco-friendly dimension to it. Simeoni signed an order for five MOD70s, which was the starting point for “The Multi One Design Story.”
Besides the sporting aspect, which the enthusiastic entrepreneur fully believes in, Simeoni also saw in this class a means to promote an environmental cause which means a lot to him. He added a prerequisite to the realization of the project: the preservation of water.
The simultaneous creation of Multi One Design S.A. and the Race for Water Foundation:
The Multi One Design company, based in Lausanne, was created in 2009 and with it a class of one-design oceanic trimarans: the MOD70s.
In parallel to this, the Race for Water Foundation was created. It is a charitable organization that aims to inform, share and act on the problems associated with water and the preservation of the oceans, for which the MOD70 Race for Water acts as an ambassador.
Development started in 2009 with the construction of the MOD70 series, designed by the VPLP design office
The aim was to build a boat which would be the standard for the next ten years (2010-2020); a one-design 70ft trimaran conforming to very precise specifications with the focus on being modern, efficient, safe and durable. The development of the concept of the MOD70 was a collaboration with the VPLP design firm (Vincent Lauriot-Prévost / Marc Van Peteghem). A strict quota of 12 boats was set at the beginning of the project, with a maximum of four per nation, to encourage the internationalization of the class.
With the MOD70 firmly geared towards oceanic navigation, each boat can install innovative communication systems for ‘live’ tracking and a full range of information about the races, which can then be made available on all multimedia platforms.
At the end of 2011, seven teams were involved:
Very soon, some renowned skippers became involved in the class. The pioneers were Michel Desjoyeaux and his boat owner Foncia, who from January 2010 announced their return to the multihull arena and their participation in the Multi One Championship. Since then other teams have arrived:
January 2010: Michel Desjoyeaux / Foncia
October 2010: Roland Jourdain / Veolia Environnement
August 2011: Sidney Gavignet / Oman Sail
September 2011: Yann Guichard / Spindrift racing
October 2011: Jean-Pierre Dick / Paprec-Virbac
By the end of 2011, seven teams representing 3 nations had committed to the MOD70 circuit.
The first season of the circuit was a success, showing the sailing world the potential of this new concept; The performance and reliability of the boats were as clear as the tight races and great entertainment. More than 850,000 visitors visited the KRYS OCEAN RACE and MOD70 European Tour villages. Since the launch of the first MOD70, Race for Water, in 2011, the circuit has generated more than 24 million euros of index value in terms of international media impact.
In the absence of a title sponsor for 2013, MOD and the team owners opted to compete in events that included different classes. The MOD70 fleet program included a European Tour - the "Route des Princes" - in June 2013 - and 2 MOD70s in the "Transat Jacques Vabre" race between Le Havre (France) and Itajai (Brazil).
2014, The Pro-Am Concept
MOD launched the ‘Pro-Am’ concept enabling sponsors and owners, who are passionate about sailing and lovers of adventure, to enjoy this exceptional oceanic multihull, the MOD70: one-design, reliable, efficient and optimized by the best sailors in the world.
It was a major development of the MOD70 class, which will allow every owner to sail on equal terms and to choose a personalized program with the possibility of joining multi-class events and having a dedicated MOD70 Class, depending on the number of competitors.
From 1972 to today, a review of 30 years of multihulls:
1972 ALAIN COLAS, MANUREVA (Pen Duick IV), OSTAR
1978 MIKE BIRCH, OLYMPUS PHOTOS, ROUTE DU RHUM
1979 ERIC TABARLY, PAUL RICARD, NORTH ATLANTIC RECORD
1982 MARC PAJOT, ELF AQUITAINE, ROUTE DU RHUM
1985 Birth of the FORMULA 40
1990 FLORENCE ARTHAUD, PIERRE 1er, ROUTE DU RHUM
1993 BRUNO PEYRON (crewed) JULES VERNE TROPHY
1994 LAURENT BOURGNON, PRIMAGAZ, ROUTE DU RHUM
1995 Birth of the ORMA class (60ft trimarans)
1996 LOÏCK PEYRON, FUJI, OSTAR
2001 FRANCK CAMMAS and STEVE RAVUSSIN, GROUPAMA, TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE
2002 MICHEL DESJOYEAUX, GEANT, ROUTE DU RHUM
2005 PASCAL BIDEGORRY, BANQUE POPULAIRE, TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE
2005 ELLEN MACARTHUR, CASTORAM,A SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION WORLD RECORD
2006 LIONEL LEMONCHOIS, GITANA, ROUTE DU RHUM
2007 FRANCIS JOYON IDEC SOLO WORLD RECORD
2009 Birth of the MOD70 class
2011 Launch of the first four MOD70s
2012 KRYS OCEAN RACE, launch of the Multi One Championship
2013 Two MOD70 fly through the TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE (double-handed race)