For her fourth participation in the Vendée Globe 2024, Briton Samantha Davies (4th in 2008-2009, just 1 hour 20 astern of 3rd placed Marc Guillemot) has a new boat for the very first time.
Initiatives Cœur is one of the most solid ‘committed’ campaigns of the IMOCA fleet and today gathers together three main partners: Les chocolats du cœur, K-Line and Vinci Energies. All of them support the fundraising for the humanitarian association Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, which enables children suffering from heart defects to have surgery in France.
Built by Black Pepper yard in the moulds of Armel Tripon’s IMOCA and launched on 30 July 2022, Initiatives Cœur 4 is a Manuard design, the third naval architect to adopt the idea of designing scow-type bows for 60 footers. The team assisting Sam Davies and Anne-Claire Le Berre, technical director, collected the carbon shell from Nantes and then carried out all the non-composite assembly in its base in Lorient.
There are some specific developments to this new build in relation to Armel Tripon’s boat (launched in January 2020) to bring her in line with the 2025 measurement in certain areas like the structure, with no Nomex in the hull bottom, which is a notable consequence of the damage suffered by Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss. The foils for the new measurement are different too, which also influences the casings and systems. They have also been designed to be more tolerant. The boom is a one-design and the cuddy was devised by Initiatives Cœur 4’s design office. All the on-board mechanical systems that are not one-designs have also been designed in-house, enriched by the lessons learned from the old boat. Keen to ‘preserve’ herself on a physical level, Sam Davies dictated the interior fit-out and the ergonomics of the cabin and cockpit, and the design office made some elements ‘by hand’. The initial sea trials only served to corroborate these choices.
As soon as it was launched, the boat looked very promising. After a year of adaptation in 2022, 2023 was like an explosion. Sam Davies finished in fifth place throughout the year, just a few minutes away from the race podiums. The British sailor will be eagerly awaited in 2024...