France to New York in Eight Days

MOD70 organizers confirm a May 2014 start for the next edition of the Krys Ocean Race and hope to entice more Americans to visit New York for the race's finish from Brest, France.

Krys Ocean Race

Krys Ocean Race

Organizers hope to capture the imagination of the American public.Billy Black/Krys Ocean Race

The MOD70 organizers have confirmed a May 2014 starting date for the MOD70 Krys Ocean Race, which is the latest good news for the multihull circuit after it was unable to secure a title sponsor for this year.

Citing poor economic conditions in Europe where the MOD70 class is based, organizers were also forced to cancel the second European Tour this year. But MOD70 Executive Director Franck David downplayed the symbolic significance of the starting-date announcement and said everything so far was going as planned.

“It was never a question of cancelling the race,” David says, “but the tough economic climate remains difficult.”

There have been other positive developments in the circuit besides the confirmation that the Krys Ocean Race is set to go ahead as planned. Efforts to push for a more international contingent and to get U.S. competitors interested paid off when Orion Racing, with Cam Lewis as the skipper, became the first U.S. team to enter the circuit earlier this year.

In France, Yann Guichard skippered the Spindrift MOD70 to win The Tour de Belle and place third in the Route des Princes (despite a spectacular and dangerous capsize earlier this year during that race). He also made a name for himself in the America's Cup World Series and won the Rolex Fastnet Race this year.

The MOD70 design has also proved itself to be much sturdier, and ultimately safer, than its predecessor, the faster yet more dangerous ORMA60 that was shut down in 2007.

After completion of the first Krys Ocean Race transat and the European Tour, all boats in the circuit remain intact and none have suffered any major breakages.

“We are on the right track to develop the circuit after it began two years ago,” David says. “It’s the complete opposite of the ORMA60.”

David also hopes the New York finish for the Krys Ocean Race will help drive more interest among the general public in the United States. Spectators will be able to see a fleet of 70-foot monster-sized trimarans sailing into New York’s harbor after tearing 2,950 miles across the Atlantic in just over a week. The organizers also plan to organize public events and sponsor pavilions in New York, and include pro-am races.

Billy Black/Krys Ocean Race
The fleet could arrive in New York from across the Atlantic in just over a week.

Tens of thousands of spectators showed up for the Krys Ocean Race departure in New York in 2012, but David says the organizers seek to make the race even more popular, especially among the general public. The atmosphere in New York in 2014 will be less VIP and more open to the general public than it was in 2012, David said.

“We really hope to capture the imagination of the Americans,” David said.