In 2022, a new page is opening for skipper Quentin Vlaminck and his Ocean Fifty Arkema. In new sports colors the boat is ready for a second season, as is her skipper, who is actively preparing for many sporting events, either alone – a great first – or with a team. In order to better organize the whole team and the intensive program of the season, Patrice Guyon is strengthening the staff as the new manager of the Arkema team. The goal is clear: an increase in capacity in connection with the main event of the season, Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.
At the end of Transat Jacques Vabre 2021, the Arkema trimaran remained dry for over two months for a major overhaul. With 100 days sailing and over 17,000 nautical miles on the clock, the boat’s structural elements had to be fully tested. “We completely stripped the boat,” explains Quentin Vlaminck. “This allowed us to test all the structural elements of the boat. In particular, we fixed a small weakness at the junction of the rod. The cab roof has been modified to make the living area more watertight and to improve our comfort, which remains very relative! Instead of sleeping on the deck floor, we set up a small bunk that was slightly raised on the outside. This will really improve the living conditions on board. »
The most noticeable change to the trimaran concerns its graphics. In November 2021, the Arkema Group confirmed its position as an expert in innovative materials serving a sustainable world with a new visual identity. “The boat is very elegant in its new colours, with warmer tones and a softer vibe. I can’t wait to see the first sailboat visuals! ” admits Quentin.
In recent years, the Lalou Multi team of Lalou Roucayrol, based in Verdon-sur-Mer, has developed a lot: construction of a shipyard, expansion of construction work, maintenance of racing boats… All this dynamism actually implies a new structure. For the company. Thus, Patrice Guyon was recruited as team leader of the Lalou Multi competition department and, in particular, supports the Arkema project.
New to the world of offshore racing, Patrice Guillon had a rather atypical career. After spending his youth in Normandy, where he discovered the maritime world between Granville and Chausy, after school he turned to the army, or rather to the fighting regiments. In 1989, he joined the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment at Bayonne. “This is not a classic regiment, because it is an elite unit belonging to the special forces. Thus, I have been active for 25 years between the Balkans, Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East. I also spent time in the Indian Ocean where I participated in the Kerguelens Fisheries Police Mission. I was then an instructor in several specialties, including counter-terrorism, hostage rescue (CTLO), and high-level personal protection. It was in 2014 that Patrice decided to leave the army. Since then, he has accumulated extensive experience in both the public and private sectors.
He discovers the world of offshore racing in 2021 during the Solitaire du Figaro. “After several months in the industry, I have met many people and discovered many careers in the offshore racing industry. It was at the beginning of Transat Jacques Vabre that I felt the desire to integrate this environment, the parallels and values of which are very close to my past experience. I approached Lal Rucairol at the end of 2021 for this team manager position and started my mission on February 1, 2022. “Responsible for the management and organization of the Ocean Fifty Arkema sports team. “I have to act as a conductor so that the team works, humanly and technically, with a common goal of achieving the set goals. I have always lived in a world of performance, excellence, team spirit and self-excellence. These are the values I find in sailing and especially in this team! I am excited about this new adventure and hope to give Quentin what he needs to reach his goal.”
Relaunched on Tuesday 22 March, Ocean Fifty Arkema is expected from 8 April on the 1000 mile start line from Les Sables to Les Sables d’Olonne. The event, open to Class40 and Ocean Fifty and qualifying for the Route du Rhum, will take skippers from Cape Finisterre (Spain), then Ireland to Fastnet before returning to Les Sables d’Olonne. “This will be my first solo race in the Ocean Fifty,” explains Quentin. “There is a mixture of desire and fear, because before the start I didn’t have a lot of solo training. Participation in it is very important, because it clearly fits into my solo training strategy. Then we will compete in the Pro Sailing Tour as a crew member and I will also take part in the Drheam Cup solo tour. All of these races are important to prepare as much as possible for the Route du Rhum in November! »
- April 8: 1000 Miles of Sands (solo)
- May-June-July: professional sailing tour
- July 17: DRHEAM Cup (solo)
- November 6: Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.