DUXFORD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 21, 2007--Hexcel
Corporation (NYSE: HXL) congratulates skipper Michel Desjoyaux,
co-skipper Emmanuel Le Borgne and the FONCIA team on their victory in
the Transat Jacques Vabre race. Congratulations are also extended to
the SAFRAN sailing team, skipper Marc Guillemot and co-skipper Charles
Caudrelier on finishing in second place. Both boats, which set off
from Le Havre, France on November 3rd and arrived yesterday in
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil were built with composite materials from
David E Berges, Hexcel's Chairman and CEO said, "Everyone at
Hexcel congratulates the FONCIA and SAFRAN teams on their tremendous
performance. Our organization is excited to have contributed to this
achievement. The lightweight but exceptionally strong Hexcel materials
supplied for both boats are another example of our Company's efforts
to make everything from aircraft to racing yachts lighter, stronger,
The FONCIA boat, designed by Farr Yacht Design, was built by the
Chantier CDK shipyard in France. CDK selected Hexcel composite
materials due to their previous winning experiences and tried and
trusted performance. The FONCIA has a honeycomb sandwich construction
and was built with both woven and unidirectional HexPly(R) M10
prepregs, using high strength carbon fiber and Hexcel's HexPly(R) M10
resin that is particularly suitable for racing boats.
The innovative design of the SAFRAN monohull was conceived by
leading marine architects: Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prevost and Guillaume
Verdier. Working to an extremely tight schedule, the team took four
months to plan and design the boat with a view to building a high-tech
carbon honeycomb sandwich structure, as lightweight as possible but
strong enough to withstand single-handed sailing in the worst
The Chantier Naval de Larros shipyard, which specialises in the
composite construction of boats, was selected to build the SAFRAN.
Materials selection was critical and, as preferred partner for the
supply of composites, Hexcel took up the challenge and helped the
architects optimize the choice of carbon fibers and composites, within
the confines of the Open 60 restrictions. A range of HexPly(R) M10
prepregs with woven and unidirectional reinforcements was selected.
Hexcel's carbon fiber was used extensively: HexTow(R) IM7 very high
strength carbon fiber was used for the hull and deck structures; while
HexTow(R) IM9 super strength carbon fiber was selected for the bow
section and the hull.
The SAFRAN achievement is all the more outstanding considering the
boat lost its large spinnaker on day 10 day of the race, resulting in
a 15 degree wind angle loss in relation to the other competing boats.
According to the skipper, Marc Guillemot: "This boat has so many
assets and is state-of-the art. The extreme lightness and rigidity
make it highly manoeuvrable, which is a major asset".
The Transat race was superb training for the Vendee Globe solo,
round the world race that starts in November 2008, which has always
been the main goal for the SAFRAN team, and in which the two boats
will again compete.
Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced structural materials
company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight,
high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibers,
reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and
composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defense
and industrial applications.
CONTACT: Hexcel Corporation
Rachel Woolerton, +44 1223 838370
SOURCE: Hexcel Corporation