Yoann Richomme’s Class 40 Veedol is a latest generation Marc Lombard design that was the dominant class winner in the 2018 Route du Rhum

A curious pattern repeated in the 2018 Route du Rhum, as the newest designs – like the foiling Ultimes, and foil-assisted IMOCAs Charal and Hugo Boss – were defeated on the line by older boats. But there was one class which bucked this trend: the Class 40s, where Yoann Richomme sailed a near-faultless race in his customised Lombard design Veedol to lead from day two, also setting a new class course record.

This is an interesting time for the Class 40s. Thanks to the success of previous production models, including Lombard’s Akilarias, the fleet has developed strength in numbers, with 53 taking to the start in the Rhum. But many skippers at the front of the fleet are now ordering semi-custom designs, and the performance level in

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