The brand new Arkema 4 was launched in the water this morning outside the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard in Port Bloc in the Gironde region, after one year of painstaking work. This Multi50 is the result of close and intense technical collaboration between the Arkema Group and Lalou Multi, partners for now 8 years. With recyclable resins, new adhesives, clean energy..., many innovative materials and technical solutions complement bold architectural choices. Adorned with blue and grey with a touch of red, the new Multi50 is now ready in the run-up to the initial tests and a swift and efficient handover, thanks to a busy and varied sports program.
The current health crisis spares nobody, and every single company is impacted to some degree. Initiated last year by the Arkema Group and the Lalou Multi team, the construction of the new Multi50 Arkema 4 in Verdon-sur-Mer has also felt the fall-out from this crisis: loss of staff, problems in procuring materials, and sanitary measures put in place on a construction site where over 20 people would normally be working. Despite the delay, the construction and assembly of the new trimaran are making steady progress, and the launch of this new machine, under the watchful eye of Quentin Vlamynck, has been rescheduled for July 2020.
27 year old Quentin Vlamynck is preparing to take the helm of the future Arkema 4. The youngest skipper in the history of the Multi50 class is taking on this challenge eagerly and with a cool head. Quentin is fully aware of this opportunity and of the hopes vested in him, and he also knows that he can count on the expertise of his mentor, Lalou Roucayrol, and on the many skills of the Arkema Group and the Lalou Multi sailing team. Plenty to look forward to throughout two seasons in the run-up to the legendary Route du Rhum solo race in late 2022.
We went to meet Quentin in the Lalou Multi Composite workshops where the construction of the Multi50 is now on the home straight.
Testing, understanding, adapting, innovating… in order to make materials more efficient, more reliable, safer, faster. These are the values shared by Lalou Multi and the Arkema Group over many years, and the future Arkema 4 Multi50, due to be launched next Spring, reflects this continuity. While the boat’s construction is ongoing, Lalou Roucayrol continues to train its future skipper Quentin Vlamynck through countless real-life training experiences during which the two sailors take on the role of ‘beta-testers’ on many fronts, in particular by working closely with sailmakers Incidence.
It was with huge relief that Raphaël Lutard moored his Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 in the port of Le Marin in Martinique late yesterday, after 18 days 04 hours 09 minutes and 58 seconds sailing solo, in the second leg of the Mini Transat – La Boulangère 2019 race. Plagued by technical glitches throughout the voyage, the 24-year old skipper showed incredible determination and great maturity over the 2,700 mile course between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands and Martinique. After clutching 8th place in the first leg, Raphaël truly stepped up to the plate for his very first solo transatlantic crossing.
Initiated in September 2018, the construction of the new Multi50 Arkema 4 is progressing on schedule, and the first components are taking shape in the new infrastructures of the Lalou Multi shipyard in Verdon-sur-Mer (33). Designed by Romaric Neyhousser in close cooperation with Lalou Roucayrol and the future skipper Quentin Vlamynck, this latest generation trimaran will have different architectural lines from its predecessor. It will be more versatile, and also benefit from ergonomics adapted to its skipper and focused on performance. Another major asset: just like the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3, it will incorporate innovative solutions drawn from collaboration between the Research & Development and Business hubs of the Arkema Group and Lalou Multi. This prototype is due to be launched in spring 2020.
Initially scheduled for 22 September, the start of the Mini Transat - La Boulangère race has had to be deferred several times due to complex weather conditions jeopardizing the competitors’ safety. After three successive postponements and a 15-day wait, the start of this solo transatlantic race is at last looming large for the young 23 year old skipper Raphaël Lutard and his innovative prototype, the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3. So, at 10.30 h on Saturday 5 October, the competitors will be setting off to tackle the first leg of their race: a 1,400 nautical mile course between La Rochelle and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Raphaël Lutard talks to us just a few hours from the much anticipated start.