They may be America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Mini Transat, offshore or Olympic sailors or maybe all of the above. Many can be seen on the dock in Cannes for the Régates Royales-Trophée Panerai.
Naval architect Jacques Fauroux is known internationally for his many winning boats, like the Quarter Ton Cup Bullit and Three Quarter Ton Cup Maligawa or the 8 Metre Gaulois
Jacques Fauroux, you’re an aficionado of the Régates Royales de Cannes, who are you sailing with this time?
“I helped restoring Azaïs, a 6 Metre designed by François Camatte in 1933 and built here in Cannes for the Swiss owner Armand Martin. She was almost completely re-built by the shipyard Phonem’s staff and François Ramoger, François Camatte’s grandson. It was a huge task, almost all the ribs, the structure around the mast foot, 20% of the hull and the rig were replaced because the boat lied abandoned in the Netherlands. The owners wanted to take the boat to her initial state and almost all the equipment is original.”
And you helped with the restoration?
“Yes, as far as the rig is concerned. Azaïs spent most part of her life in Switzerland because he was owned by a member of the local yacht club, the Société Nautique de Genève. He kept and cared for the boat until 1951, when he expired and later his son raced her before she passed hands to several other owners.”
You’ve been involved in the designed of a few 8 Metre, right?
“Yes, the first 8 Metre I’ve designed was Gaulois in 1983 for Gaston Schmalz: the hull was aluminium, that was a first for the class. I took part to the America’s Cup on France III between 1981 and 1983 in Newport, and that inspired me as far as materials were concerned because at the time there were no restrictions and the weight was to be similar to that of wooden boats. Later, in 1986 I designed Gitana Sixty to celebrate baron de Rothschild’s sixtieth birthday, with a wooden deck and an aluminium hull, and four other identical 8 Metres called the Pandoras: La Fayette, Dora, Aluette and another one that has never been completed. The youngest one is Fleur de Lys , that was built in 2001 and I designed together with my son Nicolas. »
Have the boats changed much, since the inception of the International Rule in 1907?
“The 8 Metre haven’t changed much because there are few new boats but, on the other hand, there are more and more racing in the Classic division.”
Technical specs of a 6 Metres like Azaïs:
Designer: François Camatte
Builder: Chiesa de Cannes (1933)
LOA: 11,00 m
LWL: 7,00 m
Beam: 1,85 m
Draft: 1,60 m
Displacement: 40 000 kg
Sail area: 43 sq. m