Le Defi Ship Model by Abordage
1999 sees a new challenge structure with a dynamic, resourceful and youthful syndicate. Originally called Yaka, (French slang for 'just do it') the syndicate is the brainchild of Luc Gellusseau and Pierre Mas, of Corum Sailing Team fame. Gellusseau who now runs the technical and design team, has managed to group together the best bits of the previous French challenges along with a large quantity of new, young talent. He and Mas realised that it was important to stay out of French national politics and to that end the syndicate is a relatively small budget operation.
The sponsorship was supplied early by two technology companies, Bouygues Telecom and Transiciel. Le Defi, as it is now called, only dreamt of builidng one boat and are well organised, completely transparent and very motivated.
Bertrand Pacé is at the helm of the boat, Thierry Pepponet is tactician and the well-respected Dutchman Marcel van Triest is navigator. Pacé, undoubtly France's most talented helmsman today, is a top ranked match racer - world champion in 1994 and runner-up in 1998 - commands huge loyalty amongst his crew and is mature in his approach after three Cups.
The design team includes such notables as Bernard Nivelt and Daniel Andrieu along with other names from the French world of composite structures and aerodynamics.
The stated goal of the French Team was to do a good and to get to the Louis Vuitton semi-finals. They succed with their victory against America one, and reached to an honorable 6th rank.Model Number