After a year and half of work, Maître CoQ V, was launched in late August 2022. Designed by Guillaume Verdier and built in the moulds of 11th Hour Racing Malama, she too at CDK in Port-La Forêt, the new IMOCA skippered by Yannick Bestaven, the winner of the last Vendée Globe who has decided to defend his title in 2024, differs from that of American skipper Charlie Enright, who will compete in The Ocean Race in crewed format in 2023.
It’s a fairly late launch to make her racing debut, especially in a major event like the Route du Rhum, but it can be explained by a series of staffing issues due to Covid, as well as the care taken by her skipper, who requested multiple meetings between the naval architect and the technical team, as was the case during the previous campaign.
In line with the current trend, the cockpit is more closed off than on the previous boat, the ex Safran 2, which provides the skipper with added protection. The hull is also narrower, whilst the rudders have been optimised for improved control. The major evolution relates to the foils, which are much larger. When fully extended, these new foils measure some seven metres, whilst those on Maître CoQ IV were just 4.5 metres in length, which was clearly an advantage in the sea conditions encountered in the Deep South during the last Vendée Globe. The idea is to get airborne earlier and quicker, and hence be faster in the transition phases.
During the last Vendée Globe, Yannick Bestaven dared to say out loud what his rivals tended to hide, namely that these IMOCAs are savagely brutal, so he has clearly thought long and hard about the ‘comfort’ of his living pod, imagining himself being able to do everything from his snug bucket seat.