A crewed round the world race specialist and designer of the IMOCAs Pindar (2008) and Cheminées Poujoulat (2012), Argentinean naval architect Juan Kouyoumdjian made his return to the circuit with two prototypes after having penned several foils for these boats.
Arkéa-Paprec, built at CDK but assembled by Sébastien Simon and Vincent Riou’s team, is very characteristic with her very flat hull and her very large foils. Barely had she been launched and already the monohull was taking part in the Fastnet Race. She was subsequently forced to retire following electrics issues, but she did demonstrate some fine bursts of speed during the Défi Azimut. Unfortunately, a foil broken during the delivery trip to Le Havre meant that her skippers were unable to take the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Despite this handicap, the pair demonstrated great potential through until their exit from the Doldrums, at which point the second foil also broke in the SE’ly trade winds. Eighth into Salvador de Bahia, Arkéa-Paprec was sailed back to Port-la-Forêt singlehanded by Sébastien Simon to undergo a spruce-up, refit and adaptation of her new foils.
Five key points :
(1) Foils: very large and imposing even if their weight remains secret. They are essential in high speeds. A second pair on the basis of or totally different from the first will be under consideration after the Transat Jacques Vabre.
(2) The cockpit: equipped with several "windows" that allow Sébastien to see his sails and the front of the boat. "This was an important point in the specifications. I wanted to feel safe, see ahead and be able to observe my competitors. On the 60 feet of the previous generation, this was not necessarily possible. It was like driving a car into town with your eyes closed! "he explains.
(3) The hull: flat and taut, it has been designed to exploit the full performance of the foils.
(4) The centre of gravity: the lowest possible with a mast foot "sunk" into a "seagull wings" bridge. This makes the boat more powerful and allows the weight of the keel bulb and the volume of the ballast tanks to be adjusted.
(5) Versatility: ARKÉA PAPREC is optimised to perform at around 15 knots, the average speed encountered in the Vendée Globe. It is not a typical boat for certain conditions; it is designed to go fast in many types of weather.