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The Lorient based firm, Lorima, which is the  global leader in the construction of wing and carbon masts for racing and cruising has invested a lot in the preparation of the IMOCAs about to set off around the world. No fewer than 14 boats will be fitted with carbon masts made by Lorima, the firm being chosen as the official supplier for the one-design masts in the class. In addition to that, Lorima is making available a spare mast in case of damage in the early stages of the race. The 28.5m long tube weighing in at 240 kg will arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne on Monday.

When you have 20 years of experience of ocean racing and superyachts, you build up a reputation. Lorima masts made in the former submarine base in the Breton port of Lorient since 2001, have shown how reliable theya re, which is something that Vendée Globe sailors obviously look for, as they tackle 24,000 miles of sailing in some of the world’s most hostile conditions. “We make the masts using a female mould and bake it just once, which guarantees its rigidity and reliability. We have put in place a draconian system of checks. When laying down the fibres, we know exactly where they come from. Then, we use ultrasound tests as well as rigidity checks, remembering that all the masts must weigh the same, that is 240 kg,” explained Vincent Marsaudon, director of Lorima.


The latest generation of foiling monohulls, like Banque Populaire VIII (Armel Le Cléac’h) and Safran (Morgan Lagravière), as well as tried and tested boats such as PRB (Vincent Riou), the 2008 generation IMOCAs like Newrest-Matmut (Fabrice Amedeo), have adopted Lorima, which has been busy making one-design masts for these boats for the past two years. The result is that 50% of the fleet is fitted with masts from this firm. They will also be accompanying the skippers after the start of the Vendée Globe (the Race Instructions indicate that the skippers may return to Les Sables d’Olonne to repair within ten days of the start). “We decided to build a spare mast in case a competitor suffers damage after the start. For us, it’s logical to accompany the skippers even after they have set off around the world,” explained Vincent Marsaudon. This great initiative removes some of the stress for the sailors, who are always frightened of suffering such damage after all these months of preparation…

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