Entrusting Sam Manuard with the design of his IMOCA, Armel Tripon really packed a punch: L’Occitane bares no resemblance to her ‘playmates’ with her scow bow, her moderate beam and her raised foils…
Indeed, the naval architect had already shaken up the rulebook in the Mini and then the Class40 classes with a series of yachts with increasingly wide bows, culminating with the scow bow. A highly original IMOCA seemed like a given then when the skipper turned to the designer in question. L’Occitane en Provence is radical in this regard: built on the quiet at Black Pepper Yachts in Nantes, the monohull hit the water in early 2020, then had her foils installed at the end of the winter. The performance seems to match the project’s ambitions and, significantly, the IMOCA is pretty dry, which is a definite advantage for a singlehanded round the world race. Sam Manuard, who’d already collaborated on the design of the foils for Maître CoQ (turned Initiatives Cœur), has totally revised the siting of these appendages, which exit the hull at the sheer in contrast to the other monohulls.
After an abandonment in the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne, Armel Tripon revealed the full potential of the boat in the Vendée Globe. Despite a 12th place, notably because of a hook problem at the beginning of the race, l'Occitane en Provence has shown that the latest generation foilers have nothing to be ashamed of in terms of performance.
At the end of the Vendée Globe, Louis Burton set his sights on this Manuard design. The 60-foot boat will be launched in 2021 under the colors of Bureau Vallée.
Her first race is The Ocean Race Europe