Parlier tries again

French sailor Yves Parlier is preparing his hydroplaning 60ft catamaran Médiatis Région Aquitaine to sail to the Canary Islands for another attempt at a solo speed record, writes Yachting World’s Elaine Bunting.

Parlier is nicknamed ‘the extra-terrestrial’ in France for his scientific approach and dedication to pursuing new technical ideas.

Yet success with his most radical boat to date, Médiatis Région Aquitaine,
has been patchy. The twin-rig catamaran, which is chiefly funded by ?4.5
million in regional investment subsidies, failed to perform upwind in the
2004 Transat and flipped last year while attempting a speed record off the
Canaries. As a result the boat was seriously damaged and Parlier suffered
several crushed vertebrae and a broken rib.

Now completely rebuilt and slightly reconfigured, the boat has been
undergoing two phases of sea trials from Parlier’s base in France. Later
this year, Parlier will again attempt a 24-hour solo record.