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A busy season planned for Team Arkema

by Team Arkema 24 Aug 2019 10:32 BST 22 September 2019
Raphael Lutard, skipper of the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 and Quentin Vlamynck © Vincent Olivaud / Team Arkema Lalou Multi

Preparations are gathering pace for Raphaël Lutard. In just a month's time, on 22 September, Raphaël will set sail from La Rochelle in the Mini-Transat on board Arkema 3.

The time has come for the last preparations for this sailor who is looking forward to this major event with quiet confidence, in the knowledge that he can count on the wise counsel of Quentin Vlamynck and Lalou Roucayrol. Quentin and Lalou, meanwhile, will board the Multi50 Lalou Multi to take part in the Trophée des multicoques at Saint-Quay-Portrieux from Friday to Sunday. They are using this boat as a training craft in the run-up to the launch of Arkema 4, scheduled for Spring 2020.

Raphaël Lutard: "Mentally I'm already in the race!"

Just one month left for Raphaël Lutard to complete the last preparations in anticipation of the Mini-Transat-La Boulangère. "This boat is fit and ready but there're still plenty of small things we can fine-tune in order to strengthen its reliability and performance", he explains. "We're looking at the tiny details that count, those which can make a difference. Arkema 3 will be 100% ready on the Transat starting line. We installed a new wing in early June. It's in place with optimum adjustment. I have a good feel for the boat, I feel at home on board. Maneuvers run like clockwork. I know exactly when to hoist a particular sail. It's all going well and there's no reason why this should change when I'm racing."

With the main event fast approaching, Raphaël Lutard is most at ease. "The Mini-Transat is a leap into the unknown, but for now I don't feel any pressure. I'm doing a lot of work with a mental coach to help me anticipate the stress. Mentally I'm already in the race", he says. Between now and the start of the race, Raphaël has planned a few outings to keep his hand in, given that Arkema 3 is due to moor in La Rochelle on 10 September.

Quentin Vlamynck gets the feel of the Multi 50 Lalou Multi

Since early July, Quentin Vlamynck and Lalou Roucayrol have been clocking up outings on board the Multi 50 Lalou Multi, used as a training support while the new Arkema 4 trimaran, to be skippered by Quentin, is being built. "We just had our first outing in the open sea on the Lalou Multi when we ferried the boat to Lorient", he says. "It was tough as the wind got up to 37 knots at night. To minimize the risks, we only had the man sail up, but even so the boat was reaching peaks of over 30 knots! It was really great to be going so fast, and clearly our Multi 50 was in good shape."

The time has now come to rub shoulders with the other Multi 50 boats. For three days, from Friday to Sunday, Quentin and Lalou will be taking part in the Trophée des multicoques at Saint-Quay-Portrieux, in the company of César Dohy, Pierre-Antoine Morvan and Phil Sharp. This top flight crew will face strong competition against four other high-performance Multi 50 boats, all expertly skippered.

"We are expecting a great fight. We want to have a nice race, enjoy it, and if possible win it!", comments Quentin Vlamynck. A further two events are also in the Multi50 Lalou Multi diary this year, namely the Grand Prix Valdys (28 August-1st September) and the Grand Prix de Brest (5-7 September).

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