Please select your home edition
Edition
Noble Marine 2022 YY - LEADERBOARD

Arkema 4 - Quentin Vlamynck's new Multi50 has hit the water

by Team Arkema 24 Sep 2020 14:47 BST
Arkema 4 © Vincent Olivaud / Arkema Sailing

The brand new Arkema 4 was launched in the water this morning outside the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard in Port Bloc in the Gironde region, after one year of painstaking work.

This Multi50 is the result of close and intense technical collaboration between the Arkema Group and Lalou Multi, partners for now 8 years. With recyclable resins, new adhesives, clean energy..., many innovative materials and technical solutions complement bold architectural choices. Adorned with blue and grey with a touch of red, the new Multi50 is now ready in the run-up to the initial tests and a swift and efficient handover, thanks to a busy and varied sports program.

From the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard to the salt water of the Gironde estuary is just a few steps. The crane did not have to extend its boom very far this morning to lower Arkema 4 into the water. Risen from the ground just a year ago for the construction of the new Multi50, the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard literally lies at the water's edge, and only had to open its doors wide for the public to finally catch a glimpse of this new machine. Arkema 4 unveiled its stylish look and contemporary design, before being lifted to don its deep central rudder.

This and the mast-stepping maneuver required plenty of concentration, to cap in optimum conditions a year of relentless effort by the construction team, some fifteen operators who worked hard on the three hulls assembled in the summer.

"For the past month or so, the installation of the fittings and systems, of the netting and aero tarps, of the deckhouse,... has meant intense but enjoyable and motivating fitting-out and finishing work. In the end, everything took shape quickly. Today is a big day, a new beginning with Arkema following a peculiar year when we have had to find roundabout ways and adapt without ever slackening our efforts. Today is the day the sailors are taking over!" said Quentin, mooring lines in hand, ready to jump on board.

An innovative, versatile and sharp-looking Multi50

Although the construction of Arkema 4 began a year ago, the thinking behind its architecture goes much further back. Drawing on the experience of Arkema 1, naval architect Romaric Neyhousser has designed a more versatile Multi50, capable of course of excelling in solo offshore events but also racing between the buoys at Grands Prix, a major part of a Multi50 season.

Looking down from the quayside, the care taken to limit the aerodynamic drag (integration of fittings, fairings and aero tarps) is obvious, but the most innovative part is to be found in the large cockpit. It is made of composite material that includes recycled Elium® resin, an Arkema innovation, and was assembled with Bostik acrylic glues, compatible with recycling. Flanked behind the X-shaped outriggers, it allows the crew to maneuver while protected, and helps lower the center of gravity.

The deckhouse, which can be removed for Grand Prix, offers outstanding protection in solo racing. With their scratchproof and water-repellent coating, the cockpit's many glazing panes are made of PMMA or "acrylic glass" - also recyclable -, which is ultralight and particularly impact-resistant; the brand new ShieldUp® Flex® flexible sheeting used for this glazing does away with the need for the thermoforming processing stage.

Plenty of other specialty materials from the Group play a role in the performance of the trimaran. For example, Bostik's structural adhesives with which the structure was assembled, or the latest generation lithium batteries incorporating the Kynar® technology for optimized and sustainable management of energy consumption during transatlantic races.

"Seeing these multihulls on paper is always an abstract concept. Perspective tends to flatten the overall look, especially since we opted for a wide deck for the aerodynamic effect it produces near the sails. Well, today I find Arkema 4 to be slender and elegant. It's quite wonderful!" declared a proud and emotional Lalou Roucayrol.

The skipper will be present for the next few seasons alongside Quentin in this role of "transmission" that has been close to his heart since they met in 2010. The two men, accompanied by Raphaël Lutard - boat captain - and Keni Piperol - crewman - will ferry the boat as fast as possible to the Mediterranean. On the agenda, records at the invitation launched by Kito de Pavant departing from Port Camargue, then the Middle Sea Race, a kind of Mediterranean Fastnet departing from Malta for a 600 mile intense regatta. An opportunity to face down the competition since Arkema 4 will be rubbing shoulders with at least another four Multi50s. The crew will then sail past Gibraltar heading for the Canary Islands to extend the season in optimum conditions, around an archipelago that is familiar to Quentin and Lalou since they broke the Gran Canaria race record last year.

Related Articles

Route du Rhum: Managing the skipper on board
Just as important as preparing the boat One month exactly before the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe race, Quentin Vlamynck feels he has already jumped in at the deep end! Posted on 6 Oct
Quentin Vlamynck prepares to take helm of Arkema 4
The youngest skipper in the history of the Multi50 class Quentin is fully aware of this opportunity and of the hopes vested in him, and he also knows that he can count on the expertise of his mentor, Lalou Roucayrol, and on the many skills of the Arkema Group and the Lalou Multi sailing team. Posted on 2 Mar 2020
Arkema 4 Trimaran testing
Driving today's testing towards tomorrow's innovation 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. Posted on 12 Dec 2019
Raphaël Lutard on the Mini Transat La Boulangère
Race is at last looming large for the young 23 year old skipper After three successive postponements and a 15-day wait, the start of this solo transatlantic race is at last looming large for the young 23 year old skipper Raphaël Lutard and his innovative prototype, the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3. Posted on 4 Oct 2019
A busy season planned for Team Arkema
Final preparations for Raphaël Lutard Quentin and Lalou will board the Multi50 Lalou Multi to take part in the Trophée des multicoques at Saint-Quay-Portrieux. They are using this boat as a training craft in the run-up to the launch of Arkema 4, scheduled for Spring 2020. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
The Multi 50 Arkema 4 taking shape
Launch being scheduled for Spring 2020 Designed by marine architect Romaric Neyhousser, this innovative trimaran will be skippered by Quentin Vlamynck under the watchful eye of Lalou Roucayrol who manages the project and takes on the role of coach. Posted on 16 Jul 2019
Lutard to set off on Mini Transat La Boulangère
Young skipper has taken part in virtually every Mini Class event this year In under three months, Raphaël Lutard will set off on the Mini Transat La Boulangère, a solo transatlantic race between La Rochelle and Marin in Martinique, on board the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3. Posted on 24 Jun 2019
2018 season is underway for Team Arkema
Multi50 Arkema has been clocking up nautical miles Two great opportunities to validate the technical choices and gauge themselves to keep on making progress six months away from the Route du Rhum race. As for the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3, Raphaël Lutard has already taken part in two races Posted on 3 May 2018