Le Breton Yachts Newsletter November 2010

Test Reports

The SIG45 has had some great press coverage over the past two months.

Veteran multihull racer and top multihull tester Philippe Echelle was deeply impressed by the SIG45. He wrote in Multihulls World: “Those few hours [of the test sail] were one of the outstanding discoveries of the last few years. The SIG45 is a cruiser-racer machine which offers the best of sailing: a lot of speed for passages or racing and ideal comfort at anchor…....The SIG45’s design is a total success, the overall lines are balanced, the proportions are superb…....The hull’s balance is perfect; the rudders are just firm and have a powerful directional effect.” You can download this test on the Multihull World website.

Yacht Magazin (Germany) editor Fridtjof Gunkel presented the SIG45 in his magazine’s “Special Boat” section. He was delighted with the performance of the boat, and the ergonomics of the cockpit: “…the boat sails like a pumped-up Tornado in a Wally outfit….” Yet he also felt that the SIG45 offered plenty of comfort for cruising. The article is available on the Le Breton Yachts website on the Press page.

SIG45 in the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2010

Participating in the classic 600 mile Rolex Middle Sea Race was a tremendous experience. The start line is in the stunning Grand Harbour of Valetta, Malta, surrounded by dramatic medieval fortifications and palaces. The course takes competitors up through the Straits of Messina, around the active volcano Stromboli, then west towards the dramatic north western capes of Sicily. After rounding the island ofFavignana, the fleet heads south to Lampedusa (which is closer to Africa than Italy!), before heading back east to Malta to finish once again among the historical battlements of the harbour of Valetta.

We had some wonderful sailing, achieving downwind and reaching speeds exceeding 20 knots on many occasions – it was quite a rush reeling in 60+ft monohulls. Punching through a 5 knot tidal race between Sicily and the Italian mainland at 17 knots was thrilling. The race was also a valuable learning experience. The boat performed brilliantly in almost all conditions, though we discovered a significant gap in our sail inventory – namely a large downwind spinnaker for light winds. As wind speeds were below 3 knots from directly astern for extended periods on the first two nights, we lost many places and just missed the weather window to lay, rather than beat to, the north western tip of Sicily.

The finish line is just off the Royal Malta Yacht club – slipping past Valetta’s floodlit battlements was nothing less than spectacular – what a race! With all that we learnt about the boat on this exciting voyage, we look forward to returning and achieving a really great result on the leader board.

Many thanks to our fantastic crew:

  • Skipper and Le Breton Yachts Director, Bernard Haerri, who did an amazing job of organising us all and delivering the boat all the way from, and back to, the South of France;

  • Multihull hotshot Jean-Christophe Mourniac, always calm and composed, who taught us, among many other things, lots about soaking without losing speed;

  • The very experienced Alexis de Cenival, who thought nothing of sitting on the bowsprit adjusting the nav lights while travelling at 18 knots in the dark;

  • James Stockdale, whose boundless energy and skill were invaluable; and, last but not least,

  • Markus Real, whose enthusiasm and remarkable scrambled eggs on toast did wonders for morale!

And thanks to the Royal Malta Yacht Club and their sponsor, Rolex, for their fantastic organisation and warm welcome. We encourage other multihulls to join the race – the race course is amazing, the boats are spectacular, the competition is tough but friendly, and organisers are very accommodating.

Kind regards,

Hugo Le Breton

Le Breton Yachts
Leidsegracht 92c, 1016 CS Amsterdam, Netherlands, Telephone: +31(0)6 5583 8060
hugo@lebreton-yachts.com | www.lebreton-yachts.com