Lalou Roucayrol and Arkema: Full of confidence in run-up to Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe
The crewed race period was a success for Lalou Roucayrol and his Multi 50 Arkema: second in the Grand-Prix des Multicoques Baie de Saint-Brieuc, and especially the overall winner in the Grand Prix Valdys.
Boosted by these latest performances, Lalou is now focusing fully on the major event of the 2018 season, the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo race. The race is fast approaching as it is scheduled to start from Saint-Malo on 4 November.
Lalou, tell us about your two crewed races in the last few weeks.
“They went very well! The first day of the Trophée des Multicoques was somewhat difficult, but we managed to catch up and won the second day. Unfortunately the last regattas were cancelled and we had to settle for 2nd place, so we were left with a bitter taste in our mouths.
We then went on with the Grand Prix Valdys in Roscoff and later in Douarnenez. We steadily remained in the lead in the coastal regattas, but also in the big race that we won, after a fierce battle against our competitors. The event was very close from start to finish. The final victory was decided in the last race, with a happy outcome for our crew.”
Admittedly, you had a top crew with you on board.
“Yes, I had. The crew consisted of Karine Fauconnier, César Dohy, Quentin Vlamynck as well as Lionel Lemonchois, our guest of honor. The whole crew behaved in an exemplary manner. We never slipped up, even in the more challenging moments. We were focused on podium places and victories, and we succeeded!”
“Leaving a lasting impression”
What impact can a victory have in the very last race before the Route du Rhum?
“It fills you with confidence, leaves a lasting impression, and inspires you to stand up to your competitors. Of course, these crewed races were very different from what we’ll be experiencing in the Route du Rhum, but winning always makes you feel good! It’s also a reward for all the work performed by the team, while validating the technical choices we have all made.”
Every competitor signed up for the Route du Rhum was present for the Trophée des Multicoques Baie de Saint-Brieuc and the Grand Prix Valdys. The standards appear to be highly consistent.
“Yes, they do. The boats are very similar in terms of performance. We’re going to have a magnificent Route du Rhum in our Multi 50, the contest is going to be very close! Out of the six participants registered, I would say that at least four of us are serious contenders to win the race. It’s very difficult to make any predictions, and the outcome will come down to details.”
WHo is your main competitor?
In every race, you seem to battle it out in particular with Erwan Leroux on FenêtréA-Mix Buffet. Is he going to be your main opponent in the Rhum?
“We’ve been engaged in a close-run competition with Erwan since the start of the season. The boats we sail are the most advanced of the Multi 50 class, and we know our machines inside out. As a matter of fact, yes, I will be keeping a very close eye on Erwan, as no doubt he will be keeping a close eye on me, while also bearing in mind my other competitors who are also very talented.”
Are you 100% focused on the Route du Rhum?
“I’m actually 300% focused on the Route du Rhum! The boat is currently being overhauled for solo sailing and undergoing a thorough check of all its appendages. I’ll resume sailing around 25 September. Everything’s now going to happen very quickly, but I’m ready, physically and mentally. I know exactly where I want to go. The 2018 season is going really well, with nice and steady results in every race. Following the Transat Jacques Vabre last year, I surely want to maintain my record on the Route du Rhum.”
by Team Arkema