Newsletter de 12-2023


paprec arkea pierre bourras


Yoann Richomme : "We chose the right design"

Second in the Transat Jacques Vabre (with Yann Eliès) then winner of the solo Retour à La Base, Yoann Richomme had a remarkable 2023 season despite his Imoca Paprec Arkéa was only launched last February. The skipper analyses how the boat which was built at Multiplast was able to win despite being early in its lifetimes, all of which seems to bode well for the 2024 Vendée Globe.







Yoann, how do you explain that such a recent boat can win in its first year of use?

The essential aspect was the rigor in monitoring the construction quality. We put a lot of resources into ultrasonic controls during all phases of the build. No part was fitted without being checked like this. This allowed us to eliminate any slightest weakness very early on in the manufacturing process. So we were confident about all the work done on the boat before it was launched. This point alone is essential because our prototype boats are getting faster all the time, they fly higher and take very significant impacts, all within a generally hostile environment which impose big loads on the composite. Multiplast’s expertise in the building of Imoca boats really is invaluable. We followed the yard's advice on the methodology we put in place so we avoided repeating past mistakes. And the fluid working relationship made the build relatively “easy”.


Your performances in the Transat Jacques Vabre then in Retour à La Base allow you to build up your confidence for the Vendée Globe 2024?

Yes. We have always been confident about our design choices, but we still had to confirm them in the real world. Today what I can say is that we chose the right design. Retour à La Base allowed Paprec Arkéa to be tested in downwind conditions similar to those of the Vendée Globe. I had up to 7 meters of waves and 40 knots of wind. The behaviour of the boat is remarkable, it is very versatile. It was designed to correct the faults of the previous generation of Imocas, namely poor seakeeping in the seaway downwind, with heavy landings - and that was successful. Paprec Arkéa has some weak points upwind, but downwind in strong winds (from 25 knots), we can push it further to different limit. That’s very interesting when we consider the Vendée Globe.


What will your winter work consist of?

The workload is substantial. The idea is to strengthen certain of the most prevalent slamming areas. We are also planning improvements to ergonomics and waterproofing so that there is less water coming into the cockpit. We are going to dismantle all the parts and systems for an overall overhaul: rudders, foils, keel, motor systems. The program is very busy in 2024. If all goes well, I will be at the start of the two transatlantic races solo (The Transat CIC and New York-Vendée Les Sables). Then it is time for the Vendée Globe.





  • SUN FAST 30 OD. The Sun Fast 30 One Design, a VPLP Design design, built by Multiplast and Jeanneau (see our autumn newsletter), was voted Sailboat of the Year 2024 by Voile Magazine, the announcement being made Friday December 15 at the Maritime Museum as part of the Regatta and Offshore Racing Days organized by the Yacht Club de France. “The jury was able to try it during test sails in La Rochelle after the Grand Pavois, we immediately saw that it was well conceived with excellent groundwork by the clubs which launched the project, VPLP, Multiplast and Jeanneau. It also has a race calendar that is already quite full,” commented the editor-in-chief of Voile Magazine, François-Xavier de Crécy.
  • ULTIM. Multiplast was well represented on the Ultim podium of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie-Le Havre, as the yard built the floats of the winning boat, Banque Populaire XI (Armel Le Cléac'h/Sébastien Josse), the central hull of the second placed SVR Lazartigue (François Gabart/Tom Laperche), and the entire third placed, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Charles Caudrelier/Erwan Israel). Now it is time for the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest, the first solo around-the-world Ultim race, which will start on January 7 from Brest.
  • SOLIDSAIL. The construction of the first of three SolidSail masts for the future Orient Express Silenseas, a luxury cruise liner, is about to begin. Multiplast who are involved in this project with Chantiers de l'Atlantique with a consortium of Breton players (CDK Group, Lorima, SMM, Avel Robotics), will manufacture a 40-meter section, the first layers will be laid at the beginning of January.

  • RECRUTEMENT. Between marine, industrial and aerospace projects, Multiplast continues its recruitment programme: all positions currently open are here, with in-house training possible depending on the roles.




orient express racing team

© Franck Socha / Orient Express Racing Team



Stéphane Kandler: "A real partnership with Multiplast

Since last spring the Multiplast teams have been working on building the new AC75 for Orient Express Racing Team, the first boat of this type to be built in France. Co-director of the French challenge, Stéphane Kandler gives an update.

How is the construction of the French AC75 going at Multiplast?

At the moment the construction is going very well, the deadlines are adhered to, you need to understand the scale of the challenge, setting out to build a boat like this never made in France, with a certain number of new techniques and technologies. Multiplast offer valuable help and advice when it can be a bit tricky as you inherently find with a campaign like ours, which started quite late. We are a small team compared to our Cup competitors, but Multiplast has put all its experience and expertise at our disposal to meet this challenge. This is once again proof that it is a cutting-edge yard, which after all has already built six America’s Cup boats, all of them very different. So we are really very satisfied with the relationship we have with Multiplast and their commitment to the project. It’s a fairly exceptional collaboration, which goes beyond the usual customer/supplier relationship; I would rather call it a real partnership and it has motivated and inspired everyone. We can't wait to launch this new boat and show on the water that it has been well built.

So where is the build at right now and how many people are involved in it?

I can't say much, because we just don't communicate on the subject, but we are far enough along to say that we have passed main crucial stages and that we are within the timeline that we had initially set ourselves which is really good because everything is new in this project. The boat is magnificent, we are in the match and we are quite proud of the work accomplished, so far so good! As for the team, one part which was working on the AC40 build, switched to the AC75, I would say that overall along with those staff of Multiplast, there are on average around fifty people working on the boat.

Is the whole project beyond sport?

Of course ! Such a project highlights French technology, Multiplast works with partners who support us. With this AC75, we are also setting up a French technology team, this also concerns the entire software and hardware programs that we are developing, using technology made in France. 75% of the Orient Express Racing Team budget is spent in France, this project means jobs, research and development for our country, but also we build and acquire a lot of knowledge which will benefit everyone. We often talk about money when we talk about the America's Cup, sometimes considered a race for billionaires, but no, it is first and foremost a technological race, I would even say it’s about national sovereignty. If we did not have this AC75, France would be going slower, behind all the other nations competing in the Cup. It is essential for France to be present in the America’s Cup!





MULTIPLAST : Yann Penfornis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +33 (0)6 12 05 86 97

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