NEEL 50 Trimaran – Boat Review
By CHARL DU PLESSIS for Prestige Magazine (www.prestigemag.co.za)
Eric Bruneel is an accountant and celebrated sailor, and has been part of the management team of the French manufacturer, Fountaine Pajot, since 1983. The experience gained from all these facets of his life come together in the exciting design of his NEEL 50 trimaran.
If ever there was an example of brains versus brawn, we take you back to the 2004 Transat Singlehanded race, which Bruneel won with his own design, the Trilogic. For two years beforehand, Bruneel gathered weather data and calculated that shorter, sturdier rigging would be ideal for this bruising race.
The old adage that races are won or lost before the starting line held true, as 50 knot winds on and four weather fronts battered the rest of the field, who decided to leave Plymouth and head further north than ever before to cross the Atlantic. Many a tallerrigged yacht had to retire, while Bruneel kept southerly, straight, and battened down while studying wind and weather as often as he could to plot the perfect race into Boston.
Seamanship, design and ingenuity, and winning participation since the 1980s in gruelling ocean races; these are the same instincts Bruneel now brings to the design of his latest project, the multi-hulled NEEL 50.
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