Normandie Express will take relief supplies to Jakarta

January 24, 2005

High speed cat carries tsunami aid on delivery voyage

Brittany Ferries high speed catamaran Normandie Express (Incat hull 057), built by Incat in Tasmania, is taking a detour with aid for Indonesia on its delivery voyage.

The vessel departed Tasmania on Saturday for France under the control of its new operator Brittany Ferries. This morning it was traveling up Australia's East Coast.

The high speed ship is ferrying aid items which have been donated for the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster and will unload the supplies in Jakarta before continuing on to France in readiness for a cross channel fast ferry service between France and Portsmouth, U.K.

The aid project was a joint effort by Brittany Ferries, Incat, the Tasmanian Government and AusAID. Donations came from the State Government, companies and individuals. Included in the supplies on board are 80 pallets of bottled drinking water, 320 large (including multi-roomed) tents accommodating up to 2,500 people, several donated 4WD vehicles including a fire truck, 40 sewage treatment systems which will cater for many thousands of people, medical supplies, bedding items, baby food and other non-perishable food items.

The Australian Government through AusAID will coordinate the offload in Jakarta and the entire shipment will be delivered directly into Banda Aceh to assist with the relief efforts.

The 98 meter long Incat catamaran will be the largest to operate on the English Channel, accommodating on a single level up to 900 passengers and on the vehicle deck 280 cars.

In addition to the aid cargo, the high speed catamaran is also returning to France the yacht Sill et Voilia which in December was forced to withdraw from a solo round the world race after suffering keel damage.

Solo sailor Roland Jourdain was third in the race when forced to withdraw and said: "I am most grateful to Incat and Brittany Ferries for arranging this rescue of a sailor in distress by returning my damaged yacht to France."

The ship will operate from mid-March until mid-November with crossing times of only 180 minutes to Cherbourg and 225 minutes to Caen, running up to two return trips a day to Cherbourg and a daily service to Caen every Friday, Saturday and Sunday supplementing the three return crossings a day by conventional cruise-ferry.

The fast catamaran is powered with a propulsion system of four engines each providing 7,080 kW (9,500 HP) to drive a system of waterjets, enabling the vessel to reach a service speed of 42 knots (approximately 80 km per hour). It is also equipped with a system of stabilization guaranteeing optimal comfort during the crossing.

Gilles Norgeot, Brittany Ferries Technical Director said: "We are excited at taking delivery of this Incat built fast catamaran in Tasmania. Normandie Express new high-speed service from Portsmouth will complement our existing 135 minute express service from Poole to Cherbourg to give customers even more choice on how they cross the channel."

Cyril Fabry, Maritime and Ports Operations Manager for Brittany Ferries is traveling on the delivery voyage.

"We are accustomed to taking ferries for a couple of hours across the English Channel," he said. "This trip will take us halfway around the world so the delivery crew is excited about taking the ship to France and being able to make the stop in Indonesia.

Managing Director of Incat Chartering, Craig Clifford said "We are pleased to welcome Brittany Ferries, one of Europe's leading transport operators, to the Incat family and congratulate them on their support of the tsunami relief program. I am sure the aid being delivered on board the vessel will greatly assist those in need. In the meantime we wish Brittany Ferries every success in their new operation with our Incat vessel."

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