34.5 knots, a first record!
Launched in the water on 23 September at the foot of the Lalou Multi shipyard where it took shape and came alive, the Arkema 4 trimaran has since been tacking at a steady pace between the mouth of the Gironde estuary and the Cordouan lighthouse. First and foremost, the boat is proving a thoroughbred: “When you follow the construction of a Multi50 day in day out, you really appreciate how huge a puzzle it is. After the usual initial checks and the validation of the choice of materials, we went over every single maneuver”, explains Quentin Vlamynck, revealing that he is taking charge of his boat cautiously. “Because of the aerodynamics options we chose, all the ropes run under the bridge, so it's important to make sure that nothing gets in the way. I have very good feelings about it, and the boat performs well. It accelerates quickly, and slices through the water… A true Multi50! Our first speed record was 34.5 knots in the estuary!” declares a delighted skipper.
These outings have also allowed many stakeholders involved in the construction of the boat to sail on it: Maxime Paul and César Dohy from Incidence sailmakers, Madintec's engineers for autopilot, and of course Nicolas Coudrais of the Design Office and the architect Romaric Neyhousser. “Everyone is delighted with the boat's behavior and the collective choices made. It's a great achievement.”
Back in Verdon-sur-Mer for its winter refit, following a season under the Leyton colors, the Multi50 Lalou Multi (ex-Arkema 1) is proving an excellent training partner for Quentin and Lalou Roucayrol. For three days last week, the two Multi50s carried out plenty of speed tests and maneuvers to spar with each other. “These sailing experiences confirm the good base we have in our hands, and we are confident in the boat’s potential. We had all the necessary conditions to make a real comparison, and this allows us to make progress on the speed polars of Arkema 4. All we have to do is identify favorable weather windows to venture out further offshore and for longer periods. This will enable me to fully get to grips with life on board!”
Arkema 4 will then return to dry dock in late January for its first winter checkup before taking on the challenge of its first official grands prix in the spring!