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.
After clocking up close to 6,000 nautical miles since July, Quentin Vlamynck continues his training alongside Lalou Roucayrol, in particular following an intensive stretch in the Canary Islands last month. “We got back last week after spending almost a month over there”, explains Quentin. “We had big sailing sessions, and even set two new records, one for Gran Canaria and the other for the archipelago’s seven islands. It was super interesting to analyze the behavior of the boat in the swell and in strong, steady winds. The sailing was highly technical and very instructive. We encountered challenging conditions when we ferried the boat back home, and experienced a few technical blips with the automatic pilot. It was useful training to make the repairs at sea and talk with the technicians to correct the fault. It’s all part of my ongoing training with Lalou.”
These outings, which are all an integral part of Quentin’s training in his future role as skipper of a multihull, are also an opportunity to test a wide range of equipment, including the items that are paramount to the performance of the boat, namely the sails.
Lalou Roucayrol has been testing equipment for sailmakers Incidences for years. The boat was fitted with a test sail – a Strong Luff gennaker – in the three Grands Prix of the 2019 season, and the trials involving this new innovative sail from sailmakers Incidence Sails were clearly conclusive with three wins assuring the title of French Champion 2019.
Pierre-Antoine Morvan, Head of R&D at Incidence Group, explains the specifics of this sail: “It’s a sail without halyard, in DFi, with many novel features. The major asset of the Strong Luff, as its name suggests, is the performance of the luff, but also a significant improvement in overall performance. We have had excellent feedback from Lalou and Quentin on this sail in the wake of their grands prix. As well as the gennaker, Quentin was already able to test the new J3 when training in the Canary Islands. It’s lighter, more versatile and more dynamic. Marketing of this latest technology will start at the Nautic 2019 Paris boat show.”