For more than 20 years, Guillaume Verdier has made a name for himself in the world of competitive sailing. Ultim, America’s Cup, Imoca, Class40, Mini… Dozens of winning boats bear his signature. A success he shares with his entire team.
After graduating in naval architecture in 1995, Guillaume Verdier joined the research programme at the University of Copenhagen. In 1997, Groupe Finot offered him a position in their team, allowing him to focus on open sea racing and take part in the design of boats striving for performance; 40, 50 & 60 footers on his chart table.
In 2001, Guillaume Verdier created his own naval architecture company and commissions soon flowed in. Alongside his team, he worked on independent projects and partnerships; with Yves Parlier, he took part in the design of the Hydraplaneur “Mediatis Region Aquitaine”.
In collaboration with Groupe Finot, he also rehabilitated the PRB 60-foot monohull. Finally, he partnered with the VPLP office, where he designed Safran and Bel’s 60-foot boats.
In 2004, Areva Challenge contacted him to take part in the conceptual design of the America’s Cup boat for the French team, in 2007, the same boat raced in the 32nd America’s Cup, which took place in Valencia, Spain.
Since then, Guillaume has taken part in several America’s Cup campaigns, notably with Team Emirates New Zealand, working on the AC75 FOR the 36th edition in 2021, which they won.
Studying hydrodynamic and aerodynamic shapes
“The office’s job is fascinating because it involves taking into consideration numerous inseparable parameters.
Our role not only considers drawing the lines of hulls. Quite the opposite, for a boat’s design to be harmonious, we work on hydrodynamic and aerodynamic shapes at the same time as on the structural calculations and performance predictions.
Concretely, a thick keel provides better rigidity and limits vibrations, but it will generate more hydrodynamic drag. The structural calculations must be linked to the hydrodynamic shape for the result to be coherent, homogenous and consistent with the objectives aimed for.”
“Our job consists in synthesizing all of these fields. We work with different computer programmes and we develop many tests, such as tank tests for hydrodynamics, or wind tunnel tests for the aerodynamics.
The multiple parameters provide a broad spectrum of possibilities. We can make specific choices according to the sailors or shipyards with whom we work. Adapting to our clients’ needs adds a fulfilling human dimension to our activity, which is essentially very scientific.
Lastly, working on race projects that are constantly evolving requires us to be at the cutting edge of new technologies. We ensure permanent monitoring and regularly undertake research.
Constant re-assessment and open-mindedness are absolutely crucial to the success of our projects.”