The rumour that has been doing the rounds on the pontoons was confirmed on Thursday 13th December. Thomas Ruyant has indeed started building a brand new IMOCA60 with the aim of competing in the 2020 Vendée Globe. In 2016, the sailor from the North of France set off as an outsider. It is something of understatement to say that Thomas sailing aboard Le Souffle du Nord pour le projet Imagine, a monohull designed for Kito de Pavant and Groupe Bel, did exceptionally well. Firstly, he managed to keep up with the frontrunners, then he brought his boat back to New Zealand, as she was breaking up, after almost two days of anguish, which showed us what he talented a sailor he is.
The skipper from Malo-les-Bains, at the age of 35, is now back on track with what he has been attempting to do in order to get to the start line of the 2020 race and this time his goals in terms of the result are that much higher than before. The race team TR Racing has now officially been set up and work has begun on his new monohull with foils designed by Guillaume Verdier and built by the Persico yard in Italy. His close team of associates is also in place with Laurent Bourguès in charge of the technical coordination, while François Pernelle has joined the team as head of the design team. Antoine Koch will be taking care of some of the design phases (appendages, sail plan) with Marcus Hutchinson, who was previously in charge of the SMA project, will be ensuring everything is running smoothly.
There are still funding elements and a sponsor or sponsors to be found to accompany him in this adventure. For the moment, TR Racing is able to rely on a team of investors, but they do not intend to give their name to the project. A skipper with a lot of potential, a boat that is bound to be very promising… There’s no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to see their colours displayed on the hull and on the sails.