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The 1st episode of the Pro Sailing Tour 2022 ended on Sunday 15 May in Bonifacio following 4 days of high octane racing between Ocean Fifty class trimarans. After clocking up excellent results in coastal races and a 24 h race off the southern coast of Corsica, Quentin Vlamynck and his crew finished first in the general rankings ahead of Leyton and Koesio. This result is more than conclusive for the Arkema’s initial event in the summer conditions of the Mediterranean, and promising for the rest of the season!         
Watch this space for Episode 2 of the Pro Sailing Tour in Brest from 22 to 26 June.

The idyllic setting of Bonifacio will long remain engraved in the memories of the members of Team Arkema who were sailing in Corsica for the first time.

After training with its crew over a few days, the Arkema trimaran had a very good start to the competition in the coastal races of Thursday and Friday and, at the end of the 7 legs, took first place in the provisional general classification.

Incisive, playing an excellent tactical game, Quentin and his crewmates showed great skills whilst the very light weather conditions in the Mediterranean made sailing quite hazardous.

On Saturday, at 12.45h sharp, the 5 Ocean Fifty boats still in the running set off on the final event of this episode: the 24h challenge, a 163 nautical mile course between the Bay of Ajaccio, the Lavezzi Islands and the Bay of Porto-Vecchio.

With the boats sailing just a few meters from each other in a fleeting breeze for almost the entire course, the sailors' nerves were put to the test in this last leg. A full moon, no sleep, and plenty of maneuvering were on the Arkema crew’s menu!

After racing for 27h, Quentin and his crew Alex Pella and Antoine Gautier scored a major win when they crossed the finish line first!

What they said:

Quentin Vlamynck: “This was full-on sailing! We were a little ahead in the provisional ranking before the 24h Challenge, but with a coefficient of 3, anything could have happened!

The conditions during this Challenge were very complex, and it was very much contact sailing for all of us. The boat in the lead never stayed the same! We managed to regain the lead this morning just before the tailwind, and we didn’t let go. Each of us on board probably only had 10 minutes’ sleep...

I’d like to thank Alex and Antoine who were a dab hand at maneuvering. All crews were very good, with highly consistent sporting standards. This new season has started in the best possible way on an incredible playing field, in the sun, in good spirits, and with a dash of success. I will always have fond memories of this first episode and can’t wait to meet up with the other crews in Brest at the end of June.”

Alex Pella: “We had a fantastic week! The atmosphere on board was great, the boat is fantastic, and the crew worked extremely well throughout the four days. It's so great to start the season like this. This win is important for morale after all the work the team performed last season and last winter.

Lastly, I’m pleased I was finally able to sail with Quentin and encounter him as a sailor. I wanted to get to know how he operates on board ahead of the routing for the Route du Rhum race.”

Antoine Gautier: “It was awesome! The setting was incredible, the weather conditions were fabulous, and the course of the 24h Challenge was amazing, especially the views up to the Bay of Ajaccio. We couldn’t afford to relax, sailing so close to the others all the time. The name of the game kept on changing, it was very intense!

The boat is easy and quite fun. You need to be on top of everything all the time, work out the right moves, and adjust the sails correctly. It’s a proper racing boat. It reminds me of the D35s in Switzerland or the heyday of the Orma trimarans. But there were twice as many of us on board to maneuver the boat... hence the intensity of sailing an Ocean Fifty.

One thing is certain though, it makes me want to do it again, and I’ll waste no time booking my place for the Bonifacio 2023 Grand Prix!”

The Arkema crew in the 1st episode of the Pro Sailing Tour

  • Quentin Vlamynck: skipper-helmsman
  • Raphaël Lutard: piano operator
  • Pierre-Antoine Morvan: tactician
  • Antoine Gautier: winchman
  • Alex Pella: winchman