The Brest-based company HDS, created by Hervé Devaux in 1994 and specialised in design, calculation and structural engineering for sailing boats, is expanding its activities to Lorient. Denis Glehen, former No.2 at HDS Brest is taking charge of GSea Design, a new structure that aims to develop within Lorient’s offshore racing hub in partnership with HDS.
HDS assists sailors, their teams, as well as architects and shipyards in the design of increasingly high performance boats. Michel Desjoyeaux, Franck Cammas, Pascal Bidégorry, Vincent Riou, Bernard Stamm, Roland Jourdain and Alain Thébault, the list of sailors who put their trust in this design office is a reflection of its skills.
THE PLACE TO BE
Initiated by the town of Lorient, the conversion of the submarine base into what is effectively the French version of “Sailing Valley”, as been a great success. An impressive number of companies that are not only specialised in competitive sailing but in yachting in general, have set themselves up here over the past few years making Lorient the place to be for professionals in this sector.
Engineers from HDS Brest and now GSea Design work with many sailing teams and suppliers based in Lorient (Groupama, Banque Populaire, Hydroptère, Lorima) and the nearby Port-La Forêt (Foncia, PRB Team, CDK), Concarneau (Veolia Environnement, Britair) and Vannes (naval architects VPLP, Multiplast). As such, for the company’s two associates, Hervé Devaux and Denis Glehen, the strategic decision to set up in Lorient was obvious!
Within this new structure, Denis Glehen can count on the support of two colleagues. The first, Tanguy Redon, is a composite specialist and a naval architect (notably having worked for PRB Team). The second is Armand De Jacquelot, a graduate from the Centrale Nantes engineering school, who practised his art with the naval architect Guillaume Verdier. Over the past few weeks, the team has also benefited from the support of two future graduates of the same legendary French engineering school: Yuri Baretto Kaminski and Zhaozi Zu.
GSea Design is benefiting from HDS’ expertise to achieve its three goals. Firstly, through the creation of this structure in Lorient, it intends to develop the close links it has with existing customers, which is essential if it is to be effective.
Next, Denis Glehen wishes to reinforce the presence of the design office on an international level. The latter is a justifiable ambition for these experts who recently won the America’s Cup with the Americans from BMW Oracle Racing, have for many years been a reference for the skippers of the IMOCA 60’ monohull class, which is becoming more and more international. It should also be noted that Denis is currently a member of the Groupama Design Team involved in the design of the new VOR 70 monohull for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012, whose participation will signal France’s return to one of the major international sailing events.
Finally, GSea Design is keen to expand further into the world of “ocean cruising” and exceptional multihulls, where the links with the racing boats are numerous. On large craft, the structural constraints require the expertise of specialists. It is in this way that HDS’ skills have already been drawn upon for the creation of two luxury catamarans measuring 110 and 130 foot designed by VPLP, as well as the complete refit in Australia of “Lady Barbaretta”, the 105 foot catamaran owned by billionaire Richard Branson.
GSEA DESIGN’S CURRENT PROJECTS
VOR 70’ Groupama 4, new boat of Franck Cammas’ Team for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race
60’ IMOCA Foncia, the new VPLP-Verdier design for Michel Desjoyeaux
60’ IMOCA Rivages, the new Juan Kouyoumdjian design for Bernard Stamm
60’ IMOCA Movistar (ex-Foncia), Farr-Mer Agitée design of the 2007 generation
RECENT SUCCESSES FOR HDS
Trimaran USA – BMW ORACLE Racing: Winning trimaran of the 33rd America’s Cup in Feb. 2010
Trimaran Groupama 3 (F.Cammas) : Jules Verne Trophy 2010 in 48d 7h and 44min
Trimaran Banque Populaire V (P.Bidégorry) :
Mediterranean crossing record in 14h 20min and 34s
North Atlantic crossing record in 3d 15h 25min 48s,
24 hours distance record: 908.2 miles at an average speed of 37.84 knots.
Trimaran Hydroptère (A.Thébault): World speed record: an average of 50.17 knots on a mile course
60’ IMOCA Safran (M.Guillemot) : Winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2009
60’ IMOCA Foncia (M.Desjoyeaux) : Winner of the Vendee Globe 2008-2009, in 84d 3h 9min 8s.