Queen Mary 2, the world’s fastest ocean liner, will compete against the world’s fastest multihull yachts next June in a transatlantic race that will mark the centenary of the first US servicemen landing in France during the World War I.
The 79,300-ton Queen Mary 2 has been challenged by four French trimarans each weighing less than 25 tons. The race, called The Bridge, will start in Saint-Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire, the spot where the US 1st Infantry Division—known as the Big Red One—landed in June 1917. The competition will end in New York approximately five days later.
Despite the massive difference in size and power between the vessels, the race’s outcome is anything but a foregone conclusion. Although the racing yachts are considerably faster, they must rely on wind and currents to maintain speed while QM2 can rely on her four 21.5 megazwatt Rolls-Royce/Alstom “Mermaid” electric propulsion pods to propel her at speeds of up to 30 knots.
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