An innovative prototype whose architectural and ergonomic choices are closely linked to Charlie Dalin's experience after four already conclusive years on this circuit. A new cycle is now beginning for the MACIF Santé Prévoyance Imoca team, with the Vendée Globe 2024 and the Route du Rhum 2026 in their sights.
"We drew up the outline of the boat in the winter of 2021-2022. Guillaume Verdier and his teams, in consultation with the MerConcept design office, have done a great job. The Imoca MACIF Santé Prévoyance is in the same vein as my previous APIVIA: a versatile boat, this time with improvements based on my own experience of the 2020 Vendée Globe and single-handed sailing. We haven't made any compromises on performance, but we've put a lot of work into the ergonomics to better cope with the extreme nature of these monohulls. I'd like to thank all the teams at Guillaume Verdier, CDK Technologies and MerConcept for their total commitment. They have undeniable expertise in the construction of Imoca boats, particularly the more recent ones, which are much more complex in terms of structure. Finally, I'd like to thank Macif and its health and provident insurance business for supporting me in all my projects since 2014 and allowing me to open a new chapter with them today!" concludes Charlie.
Two major innovations under the microscope:
The hull is a major innovation. At the finish of the Vendée Globe 2020, most of the sailors were clear: it was difficult to exploit the power of these demanding boats in heavy seas or downwind. The hull has therefore been given a lot more work in the forward section, to ensure that it doesn't sink in every wave. The spatula at the bow and the presence of a double strake on the hull are designed to reduce deceleration in waves. To make the boat more seaworthy and have less water on deck, the freeboard has also been increased. The gains resulting from these architectural choices should be significant in the southern seas.
Interior ergonomics to make life on board easier. Charlie Dalin has made another observation after four years sailing solo on the Imoca circuit. These boats are both difficult to live with, with regular shocks, and very demanding in terms of manoeuvres. The specifications were therefore clear: limit displacement, make life easier on board and reduce the amount of energy consuming deck gear. The interior spaces had to be condensed and reduced in size. As a result, the cockpit is smaller but higher than on the old boat, and the living area has been reversed. This 'studette', as the Imoca MACIF Santé Prévoyance team call it, is now located at the stern of the boat.
As a result, everything will be in the immediate vicinity of the skipper to limit interference with movement at sea. In the living area, everything is fixed and the interior layout is more sophisticated than on his previous boat. The skipper has a fixed chart table, with a seat fitted out to facilitate the 6 to 8 hours a day he spends racing in front of his computer, analysing the weather files. Finally, these small spaces, ventilated when it's too hot thanks to watertight hatches, will keep Charlie Dalin dry, while limiting heat loss in the southern seas. Experience has spoken again!