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Vendée Globe 2024: An ambitious IMOCA project for Armel Tripon

by Armel Tripon 1 Oct 11:41 BST
Armel Tripon, L'Occitane en Provence - Vendée Globe © Bernard Le Bars / Alea

Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes.

The skipper Armel Tripon from Nantes in Frnace, who arrived 11th on the 2020 edition of the Vendée Globe, together with AIRBUS Technocentre of Nantes have recently started to collaborate on a novel project around the development of a new IMOCA constructed from declassified carbon fiber and remains of composite materials. This boat will be introduced in 2023 and could mark the beginning of a new industry to recover composites for AIRBUS, for nautical purposes.

Having performed during the latest Vendée Globe edition onboard an audacious boat with a revolutionary shape and aware that naval construction generates important environmental footprints, Armel Tripon, in synergy with his territory, has attempted to develop new alternatives for his next boat, adopting a more sustainable and responsible approach. Therefore, it was natural for the skipper from Nantes to seek out Nantes' AIRBUS Technocentre which is a hub that aims to accompany innovative initiatives based on the implementation of high performing composite materials. Aeronautics and competitive sailing both share the use of carbon fiber, which is renowned for its lightness and robustness, an indispensable material in the construction of planes as well as racing sailboats. The possible recovery of certain declassified composite elements and the reuse of materials stemming from the deposit of carbon fiber which AIRBUS Technocentre disposes of for the construction of a future IMOCA is thus being studied, with the support of the architect's cabinet VPLP and the IMOCA class, current guarantor of the regulations around the construction of these boats.

A collective challenge, with the VPLP architects and the IMOCA class

This is a collective and audacious challenge that brings together an array of different actors, united around the common ambition of finding lasting mutations in naval construction with the opportunity to practically revalue end-of-life carbon fiber, whilst conserving its initial mechanical properties. This project inserts itself perfectly in Nantes Métropole's nautical strategy, that work in close proximity to industrial and economic actors in order to accelerate technological innovations and experimentations that favor a lasting and forerunning sailing.

For the AIRBUS Technocentre, this demonstration could be an opportunity to insert itself in a lasting way in the competitive sailing sector, focusing on the development of future composite materials built from the deposit of carbon fiber.

Innovative project searching for sponsor (s)

In order to finance Armel's ambitions and to help him achieve a potential victory of the Vendée Globe, there is an interesting position for partners to occupy and embark themselves on a new human, sporting, technological and environmental adventure. Armel Tripon is thus calling upon companies that could give their name to this innovative future sailing boat whilst taking the naming of the IMOCA up until the 2024 Vendée Globe. An adventure with a purpose.

They said:

"The Airbus Technocentre is particularly content and proud, from a sporting and industrial point of view, to support Armel Tripon in this ambitious new project. This is a great occasion for AIRBUS to value our composites and expertise." François Paynot, director of Airbus Nantes

"It is with great pride that the IMOCA class receives the announcement of this partnership. Armel Tripon is one the most innovative skippers of the IMOCA class and Airbus is a global, technological benchmark. Reducing carbon footprints in our projects is a priority for the coming years. This partnership is a major step to initiate this movement." Antoine Mermod, President Classe IMOCA

"For VPLP, the obviousness of Armel's project is marked by 3 strong elements: We amply share environmental and sporting values carried out by this technological challenge thanks to which we renew with enthusiasm our historical relations with Airbus Nantes, bonds that were tied in the course of the Hydroptère project, more than 20 years ago. Finally, this collaboration has occurred at the same time as we inaugurate the establishment of a new agency in Nantes this year!" Vincent Lauriot Prévost & Quentin Lucet, VPLP Design "I am particularly proud to support Armel Tripon in this new sporting and industrial adventure, symbolizing the environmental mutation of sailing and that values the expertise of the innovative industries of our territory, especially Airbus." Francky Trichet, Vice-president of Nantes Metropole in charge of innovation, numeric, the international and 'Francophonie'.

"Isn't it up to us, skippers, to initiate a collective realization and presently become an actor of change? I am committed to leading by example with an innovative project that will attempt to initiate alternatives in terms of nautical construction in order to, in time, master and reduce our carbon footprint. Here we define the sailing of tomorrow, ambitious, responsible and collaborative. It is up to all of us, now, to convince companies to join us in this human challenge!" Armel Tripon, skipper

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