The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water on Friday in Lorient (Brittany), with her new decoration in the colours of Bureau Vallée.
The first trials and trips to get used to the boat are planned for next week off Lorient to allow the skippers Louis Burton and Servane Escoffier to get to know their new foiler. Bureau Vallée 2 will then be taken to St. Malo, her future home port, where preparations and training will continue for the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre, with the longer term goal being of course the 2020 Vendée Globe.
After a month and a half in the yard, the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 was relaunched at noon today in Lorient by the Bureau Vallée team with the support of the Banque Populaire team. “After some holidays in the mountains, I have finally got back to a normal sleep pattern. Being at altitude and in the snow was tiring for the body and allowed me to reset my biological clock. So I am tackling the preparation phase for my new Bureau Vallée in the best of shape, as she gets back in the water today,” declared Louis Burton, before adding, “I am impressed about how my racing boat has been transformed, as well as by the shape of her hull, the feeling of power she offers and this new look she has been given by the project’s design team and the teams at Bureau Vallée. A lot of marketing work has been done to express the symbols representing my sponsor, while trying to reduce the quantity of paint on her not to add too much extra weight to this fantastic boat.”
A methodical approach to get to know the boat
Louis Burton and his team will be carrying out tests on the boat early next week to find out more about the IMOCA. Then, she will be taken to St. Malo, the new home port for this VPLP-Verdier designed foiler aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the eighth Vendée Globe in 74 days. Louis Burton added, “We’ll be spending a lot of time in the coming weeks out on the water with Servane Escoffier. Then, we’ll sail from St. Malo to Horta (Azores) to qualify in June before taking part in the Cowes-Dinard, and then the Fastnet in August. We are also in contact with the teams based in Southern Brittany to see if we can come up with a joint training programme.”
The duo Louis Burton/Servane Escoffier in the Transat Jacques Vabre
The first big date on the calendar will be the Transat Jacques Vabre, which starts from Le Havre on 5th November and finishes in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil). Alongside Louis Burton, there will be his partner, Servane Escoffier. “The launch is always a symbolic moment. It’s another step forward and we can’t wait now to get out there sailing her and finding out more about the boat,” explained Escoffier. “We really wanted to get her back in the water quickly to spend as much time on her as possible to build up our knowledge of her. With Louis, we’re lucky to have a team and partners, who fully support this project. We have given ourselves some high ambitions, so now it’s time to get out there training.”
by Bureau Vallée