Behind this acronym hides the name of a class of yacht that competes in races including the Vendée Globe. IMOCA (in splendidly pompous English- International Monohull Open Classes Association!) is also and primarily a gauge restriction. Let me explain. These fantastic wind machines designed to be sailed alone, have both; imposed characteristics such as length —18.28 m (60 feet), the mast height to 27m, the number of bulkheads and appendages etc, and free features such as the width and shape of the hull or sails deck layout. You follow me? As a result, the IMOCA 60s are supervised with draconian measures on security but leaving plenty of room for creativity and innovation. So what exactly is an IMOCA 60 footer? Well, it is a monohull of around 8 tons, tailored to go fast in the conditions that are statistically the most likely to be encountered in a world tour. ie a crosswind. In addition to its large width, its distinctive feature is to have a keel that swings and ballasts to increase its power and two drifts or twin rudders and a crazy sail area of up to nearly 600 square meters! We understand better now why they are equipped with autopilots so sophisticated that they steer better than the skipper, and for 24 hours out of 24, or almost! Finally, an IMOCA- as we say in the field -has a minimalist interior, nay, monastic! No kitchen, but a mini stove, no berth, but a simple poof ball, no toilet, but a bucket, no running water, but baby wipes, no closets, but numbered bags lugged from one side to the other ... and finally a ‘wall’ lined with electronics controlled by a laptop! ‘Stand as One’ is no exception, but if the boat of Eric Bellion appears to look like one of those of his future opponents in the Vendée Globe, in reality it is full of little details already showing that he advocates the difference. This difference which is not only a force, but the DNA of his challenge!

Didier Ravon