This Female Sailing Team Wants Break Records With the World’s Fastest Maxi-Trimaran

Alexia Barrier is ready to break some marine barriers. The French skipper, who has notched 200,000 nautical miles racing over the past 20 years, has decided to try and beat the current speed record of the Jules Verne Trophy with an all-female crew.

The Famous Project will see Barrier and her team of nine international sailors take a 105-foot Ultim trimaran on a non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation, with the goal of smashing both records and gender norms. The vessel in question is none other than Idec Sport, which is the fastest maxi-trimaran in the world to date. It was with this speed machine that Francis Joyon set the existing record for the Jules Verne Trophy, completing the voyage in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes, and 30 seconds in 2017. “It was the boat of my dreams to realize this project,” Barrier said in a statement. “A major project that, in addition to sport, wants to give women the same weapons as men to win engaging races.”

More from Robb Report

Richard Mille has jumped on board to support the bold initiative. “Alexia Barrier’s obvious desire to surpass herself regardless of the rules of the game seduced us,” adds Amanda Mille, the daughter of the eponymous founder and the watchmaker’s brand and partnerships director. Designer-navigator Jean Baptiste Epro is also helping with the project by updating the trimaran’s livery. The new design accentuates the masculine lines of the sailboat while emphasizing the femininity of the project. “This boat is virile and very masculine,” explains Epro. “The facial shapes chosen to adorn the veils tend to suggest the very feminine essence of Alexia’s project.”

The 105-foot Idec Sport trimaran
The revamped 105-foot “Idec Sport.”

The team at Multiplast in Vannes, France has also been working tirelessly to get the boat initially launched in 2006 ready for yet another stretch on the high seas. Idec Sport will soon return to La Trinité sur Mer for final adjustments before embarking on testing at the end of June. The first training sessions are scheduled for July. Barrier doesn’t expect that training will be a cakewalk, either. “Our first challenge will be to train our crew with skippers who have never sailed on this type of machine,” she adds. “Forgetting everything to start all over again, that’s what awaits us.” The team will then attempt the Jules Verne Trophy in 2025.

The first Jules Verne Trophy was awarded in 1992 to the first yacht to have sailed around the world in less than 80 days. (The trophy takes its name from Jules Verne’s 1872 novel Around the World in Eighty Days.) In the past 25 years, 19 teams have tried to beat the standing record of which nine have succeeded. Hopefully, that changes to 10 next year.

Best of Robb Report

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.