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World Speed Record

Press Release

Kempen, February 15th, 2005

Vincent Riou "Le Terrible" sails to the Vendée Globe victory in a record time

After 87 days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 55 seconds, the Frenchman Vincent Riou won the world's hardest regatta, the non-stop round-the-world race Vendée Globe. The 33-year-old beat the record held up to now by almost six days.

After an immensely tense race, in which the three leading yachts were always close to one another, Riou won with his 60-foot yacht "PRB". A non-stop regatta around the world, alone, without help from the outside means an extreme strain on man and material. The PRB used D4 membrane sails for the record sail.

The sails of the PRB were produced from D4 Vectran/taffeta and film laminates, the development of all the D4 membranes being done in close cooperation between the sail designers and DIMENSION-POLYANT.

Despite 24,000 miles sailed under the toughest of conditions, the membrane sales of the PRB caused no problems and are still in a very good condition. Alongside carefully selected fibres and components, the high-pressure lamination specific for the D4 contributed to this. Additional safety is given by effective UV protection additives and coatings. All of them are particular features forming part of the standard of all D4 membranes from DIMENSION-POLYANT and guaranteeing optimum features with regard to performance, service life and handling.

Vincent Riou's PRB with D4 membrane sails. It is worth noting that the corners of the sails only need very small reinforcements. The load orientation of the fibre sequences is sufficient to absorb the forces.

Further successes with D4:
FOREIGN AFFAIR,  1st place, Mumm 30 world Championships 2004
NICORETTE, Line Honours Sydney-Hobart 2004
NIPS N TUX,  Sydney-Hobart Class C,  1st place
CHUTZPAH, Sydney-Hobart Class Sydney 38, 1st place