A most unusual boat launching took place in Toulon dockyard in southern France on Sunday (15 February) ...
..GV yacht on slipway.
..SV Boats in harbour for launching (2 shots)
..LV Boat down slipway and into water
..SV News media look on
..SV boat floating in harbour, upside down.
..LV Man operating air line.
..GV Upside down boat turns to right position
Initials RH/1810 RH/TA/JB/1825
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Background: A most unusual boat launching took place in Toulon dockyard in southern France on Sunday (15 February) ... the boat was launched upside down. But it was no mistake, for the boat, a yacht called "Club Mediterraenee", was built upside down.
To right the yacht, divers made a hole in the hull until about 150 tons of water had poured into three compartments. It was then fairly easy to roll the boat over.
The 72 meter (220 foot) yacht was built for famous French single-handed yachtsman Alain Colas. It was built upside down so the four iron sections of the hull could be welded together more easily and so that a smaller bothered could be sued as most of the precision design work is to the underside of a boat.
M. Colas hopes to sue the long, four-masted boat in a single-handed race from Plymouth in England to Newport, Rhode Island, in the United States. The race, which is organised by a British newspaper and yacht club, was won by M. Colas when it was last held in 1972' but M.Colas is still recovering from a serious leg injury received last year and there are doubts as to whether he will recover in time to pass the tests for the race. M.Colas, however, has no doubts.