They’ve got it all: speed, power, (relative) safety, and a hard-sailing (though small) fleet. But the MOD70s are still struggling to find a place in the sailing world’s consciousness.
Which is a shame, because they are pretty amazing boats, frequently sailing at 2.5 times the true wind speed.
This video came from a little outing the folks at Latitude 38 had on Orion, an MOD70 that’s going to tear up the Left Coast sailing scene. It was enough to have Richard Spindler lamenting that Larry, Sir Russell, and the America’s Cup got it all wrong when they selected the AC72 over the MOD70:
Having sailed the MOD70 Orion on Banderas Bay last week, we no longer speculate the MOD70s would have been a great choice for the America’s Cup. We know they would have.
The MOD70s are about as strict a one-design class as there could be. For instance, all the gear on the boats is exactly the same, right down to the colors of the lines. This, along with a soft rather than wing main, keeps the price of the whole shebang reasonable. You could buy a couple of completely fitted out MOD70s for the price of just a wing mast for an AC72, and you don’t need an army to sail them. Based on viewing Orion inside and out, the MODs, which have crossbeams with sexy curves, have been beautifully crafted.
According to Swiss Steve Ravussin, who is a big part in the MOD70 organization, these new trimarans are a huge improvement on the ORMA 60 trimarans. “Thanks to less sail area but longer hulls, the MODs are faster in most conditions, but safer.” Ravussin is keen on big multihull safety, having fipped ORMA 60s mid-ocean twice. He also told us that the MODs are stronger, more reliable, and less complicated than the fragile ORMA designs.
For more MOD70 action, you only have to look across the Atlantic, where the class is duking it out in the Route des Princes stage race. The Valencia-Lisbon leg was just won by Oman Air-Musandam. Does this look edgy enough for you?
If not, how about some video?