Happy is the man
Loïck Peyron: Triple winner of the Ostar, holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, champion of many other races including the Barcelona World Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre, and an America’s Cup helmsman in 2010 (Alinghi) and 2012 (Artemis). In 1986, he finished fifth overall and first in his class in the Route du Rhum (Saint Malo, France to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadalupe), despite a dismasting at the start. “One of my best races”!
After winning many victories on nearly every kind of sailing yacht on every ocean, Loïck Peyron has a new dream…
On November 2, 2014, Loick will again be on the starting line at Saint Malo, but without the slightest claim on the overall victory. He is racing a special Route du Rhum, not on a maxi trimaran at the cutting edge of technology, but in in a 35’ trimaran that was cutting edge back in 1978.
“in honor of Mike Birch, my Jedi Master, and Walter Greene and more widely in tribute to all the pioneers of multihulls, it is close to my heart to revive this legendary trimaran with the means and techniques of the time”.
To accomplish this, Loïck will be aboard his new trimaran, Happy, the sister ship of Olympus Photo (10.67m) - the winner of the very first Route du Rhum in 1978. This race was a turning point in sailing history. Canadian skipper Mike Birch triumphed over Michel Malinovsky on monohull Kriter V (21m), after an unbelievable race, by a margin of only 98 seconds.
Happy was designed by Walter Greene (Walter finished fifth in the 1980 OSTAR) and was built for a significant part by his wife Joan, in Yarmouth.
Happy was launched the 20th of June at Vannes (Brittany) after a complete refit by Multiplast. Loïck installed simple fittings in the spirit of the times, and he wants to use a sextant for navigation!
Loïck will be joined on the starting line by four other “old boats”, some “Golden Oldies Multihulls” but that is another story. (thank you to Christian Février for his photos)
—Fred Monsonnec for Proa File 06-2014