Philippe Briand discusses sailing yacht Vertigo

When he has a project in progress, designer Philippe Briand is a compulsive sketcher, capturing and developing ideas in his notebook – or on whatever surfaces come to hand.

With inspiration running hot during the 67.2m Vertigo project, for instance, Briand feverishly drew sketch after sketch on the tablecloths of an Italian trattoria. Eventually the restaurateur had to plead with him to stop before the supply of tablecloths ran out.

Just launched in Auckland from Alloy Yachts, Vertigo is a striking yacht by any definition. At 67.2m and 700 tonnes, Vertigo is a powerful sailing machine, with sailing speeds predicted to reach about 20 knots.

Carrying towering twin masts of nearly equal height, the yacht presents a distinctive profile. From the near-vertical bow, the deckline displays subtle sheer in a long clean sweep to the retroussé transom. Arcing across the space between the two masts, the coachroof is like a piece of modern sculpture. It appears to hover over the deck – barely supported by the delicate mullions and wide expanse of glass beneath.

In terms of size and complexity, Vertigo is the largest completed project for both the yard and designer. Briand’s sketching tracked veritable odysseys across landscapes of paper in his drive to solve its myriad conundrums.

‘I tend to cover the walls and floors of my office and my study with drawings and even my dog knows that he cannot disturb the scenery,’ he says. ‘These creative episodes are what drive me and make me love what I do.’

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