This 2021 will undoubtedly be a year of discovery for Quentin Vlamynck, the promising young skipper of Arkema 4, a new trimaran of the Ocean Fifty class launched a few months ago. Under the guidance of his mentor Lalou Roucayrol still, Quentin has kept on building up his confidence in his new racing craft
After sailing for several months, the boat was checked over in the Lalou Multi boatyard in mid-February and returned to the water last week. Quentin Vlamynck and his crew are about to embark on a training and racing program for this first season on the brand new Pro Sailing Tour, before the major event of the year, namely the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre race.
Launched in the water on 23 September at the foot of the Lalou Multi boatyard in Verdon-sur-Mer, the Ocean Fifty Arkema 4 did not wait long to put in its first tacks in the Gironde estuary. “The first outing was a tremendous occasion,” says Quentin Vlamynck. “When you follow the construction of a trimaran day in day out, you really understand that it’s a huge puzzle. So, the first thing that was confirmed was that everything was indeed in place. After the initial checks, we went over every single maneuver.”
Conclusive initial outings
With Lalou Roucayrol, boat captain Raphaël Lutard, and Keni Piperol, young talent in the team, by his side, Quentin has completed around thirty daily outings to learn the ropes of this new racing craft. “These confidence-building outings were soon very conclusive. The boat is sound, aerodynamic, and I’m at ease on board. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to sail it without trouble at more than 30 knots and know that I’m completely safe.
“The boat performs really well. We’re particularly pleased with the work that was done on the aerodynamic tarpaulins. At times, the boat barely touches the water, all pitched up and supported by its foils. It’s an incredible feeling to experience that. Before the boat’s winter check-over, we also had a 48-hour outing in strong winds. The conditions were not easy with heavy squalls now and then and a cross sea, but the boat performed well to our greatest satisfaction!”
Vlamynck has been training alongside Roucayrol for almost 10 years. In addition to learning to take the helm of the boat, Quentin has also benefited from a wide range of training: electronics, weather, mental and physical preparation.
The young skipper is determined to leave nothing to chance: “You have to be an all-round sailor”, Quentin sums up. “The job of a skipper has never been confined to just knowing how to handle or steer a boat. You have to know how to use electronics and computer technology on board, be able to analyze the weather and routings, not to mention stay in good physical shape and be well prepared mentally too, because these boats are very demanding. I really want to wrap my mind around all of that and know how to do everything, all by myself. So, I’m a little less in the boatyard now, and I’m learning to delegate to free up some time. I feel confident, with the help of Lalou and his support and experience.” A big advantage to start this new chapter in his career!
Arkema 4 2021 program
Pro Sailing Tour:
1st event: Brest 5-9 May
2nd event: La Rochelle 26-30 May
3rd event: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 30 June-14 July
4th event: Marseille 21-25 July
Final event: Brest 1-7 August
Transat Jacques Vabre:
Departure Le Havre 7 November 2021
Arkema 4 Team
Lalou Roucayrol: coach and technical and sports director
Raphaël Lutard: boat captain
Keni Piperol: sailor and preparer
Etienne Carra: rigger and sailor
César Dohy: sail maker and sailor
Greg Havel: preparer
Dominique Labeyrie: preparer
(Quentin Vlamynck, training for the first season with Arkema 4 – Barchemagazine.com – March 2021)