Launch of the new Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire XI: the Ultim class epitome of audacity!

Wednesday, 28 april 2021

16 metric tons, 32 meters in length, and 23 meters wide: the Banque Populaire XI is the fruit of 24 months of construction work performed by 150 mostly French and locally based companies.

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The construction of this new 16 metric ton, 32m long, 23m wide, and 37m high ‘Ultim’ class racing trimaran to be skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h required the expertise of 150 companies to ensure its completion in 24 months despite the health crisis!

 A synthesis of high technology and fine craftsmanship, this giant of the seas was recently launched on April 27 in Lorient (Brittany). An epitome of audacity, with its S-shaped foils about twice the size of those fitted to previous generations (an application of advanced research in aerodynamics as used in Formula 1 racing cars),Banque Populaire XI is the result of a technological, technical, human and logistical feat that makes it the latest jewel in the crown of the nautical industry and of competitive sailing in general.  

Team Banque Populaire drew on the expertise of no fewer than 150 mostly French and locally based companies for the vessel’s design and construction. As a major player in ocean racing both as sponsor and ship-owner, Banque Populaire used this opportunity to support craftsmen, engineers and architects, true to its DNA as a bank working closely with all types of entrepreneur. This initiative also enables the bank to demonstrate its active involvement in promoting the status of all those contributing to the ‘blue economy,’ a sector embracing all economic activities related to the marine environment.

Another challenge now awaits the team with the first trial runs for Armel Le Cléac’h and his co-skipper Kevin Escoffier in preparation for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandy Le Havre race in November later this year.

  • 32 meters in length, 23 meters wide, weighing 16 metric tons
  • 24 months in the making4,500 hours of preparatory work (design, architecture, plan, simulation carried out by the VPLP firm of naval architects) 
  • 300 production blueprints
  • 150 companies involved
  • 150,000 hours of work (including more than 100,000 hours for the CDK Technologies shipbuilding facility alone) 

@PHOTO / Vincent Curutchet