We were in totally untested waters when we arrived in Brest. For the past 8 months we had had plenty of outings and knew that the boat was consistent with our expectations, but we had never sailed against the competition, especially in those windy conditions.”
Episode 1 / Brest: engaged and sound!
From 19 to 23 May, the 6 Ocean Fifty boats converged to Brest for the 1st episode. “We were in totally untested waters when we arrived in Brest. For the past 8 months we had had plenty of outings and knew that the boat was consistent with our expectations, but we had never sailed against the competition, especially in those windy conditions” says skipper Quentin Vlamynck.
“We remained cautious and quickly realized our potential for speed in strong winds. The boat is quite simply great! It maneuvers well even in rough seas, and we had the right settings from the start.” Besides the technical aspects, what helped Arkema 4 achieve these results from the 1st episode is also the crew’s solid cohesion. “Maneuvers on board were very smooth. We have long been accustomed to sailing together, and the crew are familiar with the choreography. It is very satisfying to be at the helm when all the maneuvers work out as expected and the mood on board is good.”
Episode 2 / La Rochelle: calm and variable...
After a brief day off in Brest, Arkema 4 promptly set sail towards La Rochelle, where the 2nd episode took place from 27 to 30 May! With radically different conditions from those in Brest, the Arkema 4 crew knew that this regatta would not be the same at all.
“We did have some concerns about the behavior of the boat in light winds. We know there are weight differences between boats, which can sometimes make a difference in light conditions. We were quickly reassured by winning the 24-hour Challenge with Lalou Roucayrol and César Dohy. Over the two days of inshore races, conditions were really extremely variable, and the courses so short that it all came down to the first tack... It was not always easy, but we never fell back and managed to hold on to 2nd place in the provisional general ranking. This is a great result for us so early in the project!”
Teasing episode 3 / Las Palmas
In mid-June, Quentin and Lalou together will head for the Canary Islands for episode 3 of the Pro Sailing Tour, the aim being to qualify for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre race.
With 3 weeks ashore in Verdon-sur-Mer, the skipper intends to use this time to further tweak some fine points on his trimaran: “We did not break anything during these first two events, and in particular we will make some systems more reliable and fine-tune some settings. I will also take the opportunity to do as much sport as possible because the job of helmsman is much less physical than that of crewman on board a trimaran! In short, we very much enjoyed these first two events. The mood is very pleasant between competitors, and the format of the circuit highly suitable for the public and guests. It's a successful start, in every way!”
With 3 other episodes to follow, between the Canary Islands, Marseille and Brest, this Pro Sailing Tour promises to be a real success.
Provisional general ranking after 2 episodes:
1 - Leyton (Sam Goodchild) - 14 pts
2 - Arkema 4 (Quentin Vlamynck) - 11 pts
3 - Ciela Village (Erwan Le Roux) - 9 pts
4 - Primonial (Sébastien Rogues) - 8 pts
5 - Solidaires En Peloton - ARSEP (Thibaut Vauchel-Camus) - 6 pts
6 - Groupe GCA 1001 sourires (Gilles Lamiré) - 6 pts