François Bich and the Multiplast yard are thrilled to announce that the legendary catamaran ORANGE II will be given a new lease of life. Moreover, the 118-foot superyacht ORANGE II will be renamed to sailing yacht VITALIA II.
Sailing yacht ORANGE II, led by Bruno Peyron, held the Trophée Jules Verne (around the world speed record with crew) from 2005 to 2010 with a time of 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes. It was also the fastest boat across the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and held the 24 hours speed record (766.8 miles with an average speed of 31.95 knots).
Bruno Peyron said: “I’m proud of this story of conquest, proud of this boat that allowed me to win my third Trophée Jules Verne, proud of my friends with whom I’ve shared so many hours and magic nights around the world and I’m also delighted that François Bich and the Multiplast yard have the audacity and the vision to embark upon this extreme and ambitious refit. This refit probably signals a positive turning point for the cruising maxi catamaran’s evolution and … I love audacity!”
For around 7 years, ORANGE II yacht has been waiting patiently at the Multiplast Yard for somebody to grant it a second life: it’s now done! The transformation work has already started and the first sea trials are scheduled for April 2015.
A wonderful machine that won everything…
Designed by the Gilles Ollier Design Team and build by Multiplast yard, superyacht Orange II, which is 118 ft long, is a wonderful machine that won everything! For a project that scale, experience and passion are called for and François Bich has both in abundance.
François Bich began his sailing career on the family boat which was designed by André Mauric, following that with experiences on dinghies (Ponant and 505). By 1965, he was sailing on 12 m JI Sovereign, which his family used during summer. He decided then to devote four years of his life to train for the America’s Cup on the 12 m JI and joined Joinville Battalion for training. In 1970 and 1974, he took part in the America’s Cup on France in Newport.
Passionate about multihulls, from Hobie Cat to Formula 40, François Bich is one the rare boat connoisseur able to give a second life to Orange II yacht. He knows he will get an exceptional boat on which to go around the world.
So, it was an emotional moment, when Jack Michal, Franck Martin and Yann Penfornis, three of the naval architects involved in the original design of Orange II superyacht with Gilles Ollier went through their old drawings and the calculation notes in order to produce the modifications for sailing yacht VITALIA, François Bich’s new boat.
The aim is to transform ORANGE II yacht into a (very) fast cruising boat without loosing its racing DNA.
Thus, a 753 ft² aerodynamic structure will be added at the back of the mast beam. Six cabins will be fitted in the hulls: three double cabins for guests and three more for the sailing crew (5 crews).
Despite the owner’s best and concerted efforts to sail under the flag of a French pavilion, regulatory and technical factors have meant that the ORANGE II yacht’s transformation can only take place under the more flexible British system.
François Bich has been a member of BIC Company since 1969. From 1971, he managed BIC’s worldwide Lighter branch operations and, 43 years later, he’s still in charge…