Defi Azimut Race & Speed Runs

terrafirma

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So we have the speed runs starting tomorrow and the 48 Hour 500 mile race on Thursday the 15th. It will be interesting to see how the new boats go against Charlie and Thomas on Apivia and Linked Out. I know it's only a short race for the Imoca's but surely a lot of the new boats will want to be up with Charlie . Some of the new boats may still be in learning mode but still makes for an interesting line up.

 

terrafirma

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The reigning champion has won it all this year (Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race and the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d’Olonne), but skipper Charlie Dalin will have his work cut out on Apivia if he is to contain his 27 rivals.

Up against him will be the cream of the 2019 generation of IMOCAs, including Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut (winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2021) and no fewer than seven latest generation IMOCAS.
On the eve of the start of the Défi Azimut Lorient Agglomération 2022 we get the low-down on the top-flight line-up.

In an event first, quarter of the fleet will be newbies! Indeed, of the 28 IMOCAs setting sail on Wednesday at 15:00 hours local time on a series of Runs offshore of Lorient, Brittany, seven will be making their racing debut at the Défi Azimut.
1 VPLP design (Boris Herrmann’s Malizia Seaexplorer), 2 Manuard designs (Samantha Davies’ Initiatives Cœur and Jérémie Beyou’s Charal 2) and 3 Verdier designs (Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm, Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim-PRB and Maxime Sorel’s V&B-Monbana-Mayenne).
“To these six, we must add 11th Hour Racing Team launched in 2021, explains Antoine Mermod, president of the Class IMOCA. This is the Verdier design, which kicked off the new post-Vendée Globe generation. We’ve yet to see her at her full potential, but with two transatlantic races to her credit this year, we imagine she’ll be performing at her best!”
Featuring very similar lines to Apivia, 11th Hour Racing was originally designed to take the start of The Ocean Race and will be among four boats being sailed in crewed format* this year, an exercise which her skipper Charlie Enright is well versed in.

THE UNKNOWN ELEMENT IN THE NEW WAVE

The potential of the other newcomers is the great unknown in this twelfth Défi Azimut. Because of the law of evolution, this 2022 generation should see even greater performances than in previous events, though we mustn’t forget that today’s IMOCAs require a long period of fine tuning.
As such, it’s fair to say that Initiatives Cœur (an evolution of the ex-Occitane en Provence) and Biotherm (evolution of Apivia), launched less than a month ago, might well be a bit short of time on the water to really pose a threat to the top players.
This is not quite the case for V&B-Monbana-Mayenne, built in Apivia’s mould with a revised waterline up forward and different foils. “She’s not the most innovative of the new boats, but Maxime Sorel has got his new machine up and running very quickly and the duo could straightaway perform well out on the racetrack,” commented Antoine Mermod. The same is true of Holcim-PRB, who is already cutting quite a dash in the recent images of her filmed in breezy conditions. We know how good her skipper Kevin Escoffier is and, following his accident in the Vendée Globe, he’s returning to IMOCA with a tool that matches his talent and will be eager to shine.
Meantime, Malizia Seaexplorer really struck a chord with those at her launch with her solar panel ‘cladding’ and her highly protective coachroof stretching forward. Her skipper, who’s planning on a two-pronged The Ocean Race/Vendée Globe programme, was keen to have a really solid boat, even if meant making her a little heavier according to the naval architects. As a result, it will be interesting to see whether this architectural choice is a disadvantage in the manageable conditions due to be served up in the Atlantic in mid-September, the Défi Azimut being the perfect format to capture these moments of truth.
And finally, what about Charal 2? Narrower than the competition, with a more accentuated ‘scow’ bow than Occitane en Provence (the architect’s first IMOCA) and a very different rudder geometry, Jérémie Beyou’s new Manuard design is more unique in architectural terms. Equally, with support from Franck Cammas, we can trust that the Beyou Racing stable has managed to quickly debug this new foiler after her July launch. Hopes will certainly be high for her then in this year’s Azimut.

NEWCOMERS AND OUTSIDERS

One thing for sure: The uncertainty regarding the level of fine-tuning might well enable many other skippers to excel too. Among those to keep an eye on then are Hublot, ex-Hugo Boss, which Alan Roura has managed to get a good feel for. The ex-Charal, now known as Teamwork, also remains a safe bet and her skipper Justine Mettraux has already racked up some great experience on the IMOCA circuit after her time with 11th Hour Racing team. Lastly, certain revamps like that carried out by Giancarlo Pedote on Prysmian Group, may well pay off thanks to their tried-and-tested platforms.
Get your stopwatches out on Wednesday from 15:00 hours! Both on land and aboard the boats, all the IMOCAs’ performances can be monitored via the Surlo app, developed by the computer solutions company, Azimut, to track the progress of the 29 entries in elapsed time. Verdict from the runs in the evening prior to the start of the 48-hour race on Thursday.


INSERT: A RACE WITHIN A RACE​

9 IMOCAs with daggerboards are competing in this year’s Défi Azimut, many of them helmed by Défi Azimut and/or IMOCA rookies (discover their portraits on the website www.defi-azimut.net). Some are joining the fray to qualify for the Route du Rhum, whilst others have been honing their weapons for a long time and have already excelled in the early-season events. Such is the case for skippers like Benjamin Ferré on Monnoyeur for a job (ex Banque Populaire X), who boasts a formidable boat, Louis Duc on Fives Lantana Environnement and also Eric Bellion (Comme un seul Homme Powered by Altavia), sailing aboard a Farr design that is undoubtedly one of the most optimised of the 2006 generation boats thanks to a certain Jean Le Cam.


· The three other IMOCAS competing in crewed format in the 48-hour race are:
Biotherm (Paul Meilhat),
Guyot environnement - Team Europe (Benjamin Dutreux),
Malizia Seaexplorer (Boris Herrmann),
 

huey 2

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29 in IMOCA. and 4 in TOR​

Presentation for the Week​


The Défi Azimut is an atypical event in the offshore racing world. It’s the coming together of the IMOCA Class, home to the Vendée Globe skippers, and the Lorient-based company Azimut. It also aims to combine performance, innovation and strategy. The highest level of competitive sport on the water and true social connection on land form the hallmarks of this event, which enjoys increasing success year on year.

azimut_210918_0135-1.jpeg
© YVAN ZEDDA

For its 12th edition, the Défi Azimut pits both new and tried-and-tested IMOCAs against one another in race mode for five thrilling days in Lorient. As such, it is the perfect platform for all the offshore sailing protagonists to become embroiled in some hotly contested racing, just weeks away from the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.

INTERVIEW​

azimut-35_44148429504_o.jpeg

Jean-Marie CORTEVILLE
Head of AZIMUT
This event was originally devised in partnership with the Vendée Globe skippers; men and women who like to take on daily challenges and bring collaborative projects to a successful conclusion.

The human factor is key to the Défi Azimut.
Why the Défi Azimut ?

Our objectives with the organisation of this race:
  • To share a moment punctuated by sport and social connection with those involved in offshore racing, which expresses our passion for the sea,
  • To enhance, innovate and open up the field of possibilities,
  • To experiment with the latest technological solutions during the event.
A story that traverses the years
The organisation of the Defi Azimut is a powerful vehicle for rallying together Azimut’s associates.
Indeed, this event has prompted some wonderful stories that are built to last, with new partners and new clients who share our commitment, tenacity and humanity.
Azimut, partner to the marine industry
A strong presence within its domain, Azimut has the IMOCA Class, the Figaro Class, the Class Mini and the Class40 as loyal clients. Each boat class has specific needs in terms of digital tooling (tracking, registration platform, boat database, etc.) and it is a genuine laboratory for our various solutions! Azimut also develops business platforms for boat charter companies, for the Bretagne Pôle Naval marine cluster and the Campus Mondiale de la Mer, France’s foremost community of experts in the study and economic development of the ocean…
Visit the Azimut web site
 

terrafirma

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Charal only 2 seconds behind but shows Apivia is ahead especially in the foil department not sure what wind strength they had? In todays conditions it seems foils and sails were the driving force. And 11th hour were up there too.
 

terrafirma

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The 12th Défi Azimut is up and running. Tradition has it that in the largest offshore racing event in the Lorient basin, which this year gathers together a first-class line-up of 28 IMOCA monohulls, it is with a session of ‘speed runs’ that festivities commence out on the water. The persistent mizzle and light W’ly breeze that set the tempo in the early afternoon in no way dampened the spirits of the skippers, crews and guests, all of them eager to set off down the course in Les Courreaux de Groix as if it were a stadium sprint.

The wind didn’t take long to pick up a notch today, giving the foilers that little extra lift to show off their spectacular potential. Following a short 0.76-nautical mile course, a series of speed runs were released down the course from 14:30 hours, with the fleet split into two groups of 14 boats, each of which were given two cracks of the whip initially. Two groups, one final round and forty timed sprints later, podium honours for today’s speed runs went to APIVIA (Charlie Dalin) in first place, followed by the new Charal (Jérémie Beyou) and the international crew on 11th Hour Racing Team (Charlie Enright).



A CRESCENDO OF TIMES​

As the curtain rose on this 12th edition, wind conditions (6 knots) were not very conducive to high speed and powerful acceleration. However, one by one, the 14 crews in the first group decided to try their luck, MACSF helmed by Isabelle Joschke opting to go first on what proved to be a series of relatively slow runs. Out on the racetrack, the initial attempts favoured the boats equipped with classic daggerboards, starting with Groupe SETIN, which topped the leaderboard for a considerable time. However, the wind filled in after the first few passages, serving up ideal conditions for the foilers to zoom along carrying all their sail area (mainsail, gennaker and J3).



The best time in this first series went to LinkedOut, which managed to latch onto a favourable gust, devouring the course in two minutes 22 seconds. Also of note was the fine performances by newbies Charal (2’34) and Holcim-PRB (2’44), despite rather different flying techniques. Indeed, the former enjoyed a stable ride incorporating long strides, whilst the second was able to rear up very high on a gallop. Prysmian Group (2’59) and Biotherm (03’02) complete the list of six foilers which managed to secure their ticket for the final. The 7th and first daggerboard boat Monnoyeur-Duo for a job narrowly missed out. However, they finished on a high with a better time than TeamWork skippered by Justine Mettraux, who was making her race debut at the helm of this IMOCA (ex-Charal) for today’s series of speed runs.

12 FOILERS IN THE FINAL​

Next up was the second group. The wind was still a little shifty between Ile de Groix and the coast but as the start line opened, it decided to ease for the remaining 14 protagonists on these runs. The focus at that point was on making sure the trimming was optimised so the boat was perfectly balanced for teasing out the best constant speed for a matter of minutes. Once again though, the W’ly wind picked up after the first attempt. This time it was V&B - Monbana - Mayenne which racked up the quickest time (2’16).

Again, the speediest six were all foilers, which have the ability to accelerate in the slightest puff of wind. Featuring appendages able to keep them delicately poised over the water in upwards of just twelve knots or so, the foilers filled the starting grid for the final. At 17:00 hours, all of them came together on the racetrack for one more run each. APIVIA was as impressive as ever racking up the best time on this 3rd and final run of the day (2’42) and, all too soon, it was time to return to Lorient La Base for the prize-giving on this first day of the competition. Tomorrow, the entire fleet is expected to take the start of the 48 Heures Azimut at 14:30 hours, in the Courreaux de Groix, a strait between Lorient and Groix Island.



Charlie Dalin (APIVIA):
Even though the runs are always a random exercise, it’s always nice to win as the competitive instinct is strong and I have my team with me that works flat out all year too! I was also keeping an eye on the new boats. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Charal finished just seconds behind me, which means the boat performs well. They’re at the start of their development whilst Apivia is at the end of the road on that score so there’s a chance they’ll be faster than us one day. Holcim PRB also demonstrated great potential, but now I’m looking forward to the 48-hour sprint. We’re going to be sailing in a range of more varied conditions and in the open water, so we’ll see how the new boats with spatulated bows perform in particular.



Ranking for the final of the speed runs

#1 APIVIA (Charlie Dalin): 02’43
#2 Charal (Jérémie Beyou): 02’45
#3 11th Hour Racing Team (Charlie Enright): 02’53
#4 LinkedOut (Thomas Ruyant): 02’54
#5 Holcim-PRB (Kevin Escoffier): 02’58
#6 Guyot Environnement - Team Europe (Benjamin Dutreux): 03’04
#7 DMG MORI-Global One (Kojiro Shiraishi): 03’10
#8 Hublot (Alan Roura): 03’30
#9 V&B Monbana Mayenne (Maxime Sorel): 03’30
#10 Biotherm (Paul Meilhat): 03’31
#11 Prysmian Group (Giancarlo Pedote): 03’33
#12 Groupe Apicil (Damien Seguin): 03’36
 

terrafirma

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Interesting after winning the Speed Runs Charlie said that he only finished 2 seconds ahead of Charal 2 and that because Charal were new in their development and Apivia was at the end of theirs Charal would most likely end up faster. He didn't mention anything about his new boat.

Youtube speed runs (In French)

 

Sailbydate

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Charal only 2 seconds behind but shows Apivia is ahead especially in the foil department not sure what wind strength they had? In todays conditions it seems foils and sails were the driving force. And 11th hour were up there too.
Makes me wonder if, Alex Thomson might not be the only IMOCA60 skipper to launch a new SLOWER boat?
 

terrafirma

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Makes me wonder if, Alex Thomson might not be the only IMOCA60 skipper to launch a new SLOWER boat?
Yeah Alex's last boat now called Hublot never set the world on fire. It had structural issues, a fully enclosed coach house and never seemed fast. The boat before that where he ultimately came 2nd was arguably the fastest boat at the time. Still a bit early to tell with the new boats we won't know until they all have some racing and development under their belts. I think with this latest speed run the boats that waited until later in the day before doing their run also had more breeze. The Azimut Ocean race 500 mile kicks off tomorrow not sure what the conditions are but thet should be interesting. Charlie is in another league and not just his boat but his knowledge overall.
 

yl75

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I think the issue with the latest HB is much more the constant curvature "C foils". It appears appealing for the possibility to retract, but must clearly be below in terms of foils performances : no new boat is using the concept (and I have never seen a plane with such wings ! :) )
 

terrafirma

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I think the issue with the latest HB is much more the constant curvature "C foils". It appears appealing for the possibility to retract, but must clearly be below in terms of foils performances : no new boat is using the concept (and I have never seen a plane with such wings ! :) )
Agree the foils were a poor choice and given no other boat has gone this way this is validated. Could Hublot be retrofitted with different foils or would this be a major.?
 

yl75

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Agree the foils were a poor choice and given no other boat has gone this way this is validated. Could Hublot be retrofitted with different foils or would this be a major.?

I guess it could, anything possible, but would most probably be a major ($$).
Note : Sebastien Simon also went this route (named Arkea Paprec for last VG) :
1663230397884.png


Btw, not sure who has this boat now ..
 

wonderbrom

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I guess it could, anything possible, but would most probably be a major ($$).
Note : Sebastien Simon also went this route (named Arkea Paprec for last VG) :


Btw, not sure who has this boat now ..
Simon had an unlucky streak of wrecking multiple versions of his foils. That way Arkea Paprec was forced to continuously develop new ones. I believe Simon was trying to get new sponsors for this boat after his involvement in Arkea Paprec was terminated. But he's now teaming up with Dutreux and Guyot.
 

Raptorsailor

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I'm very interested in Alain Roura and Hublot ex Hugo Boss, since as far as I know we never saw that boat in a true one on one equal fight in the fleet over an extended period of time, and while the Defi is not over an extended period of time they will all be in the same weather.
 

Roleur

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That Hugo Boss did make it to Cape Town during the last Vendee and it was near the front when Alex had to drop out. It isn't a definitively slow boat. Maybe not as fast as Apivia, but not wildly off that pace. That said, I Apivia seems to be much faster now than during the Vendee. Alan does seem able to make the boat go incredibly slow though. He is currently battling at the back with the also rans.
 




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