Tanguy de Lamotte will once again be at the start of the Vendée Globe event in 2016. The skipper of ‘Initiatives Cœur’ is taking advantage of the time before the start of this race to optimise his project, so that he is ready for the start line. He follows the same guidelines: sharing information, solidarity, a close team, making sensible technical choices... This is preparation programme with a skipper who is ready for this new adventure.
So you are taking on your second Vendée Globe, is this the logical step after your first achievement ?
« At the end of the last Vendée Globe, I was not sure if I wanted to come back again. Things needed to mature a little. I didn’t do the first event with a plan to do a 2nd….but after a while the desire returned, the concept of going again and extending the project from the initial version started to develop. I never really made a firm decision that offshore sailing would be my main career. When I started to race (in Mini Transat), I wanted to race in boats that I had designed myself. Thats how I got into offshore sailing : for both technical design and adventure reasons. «
This time will the sporting objective surpass the adventure ?
« For the 2012/13 edition, I was totally aligned with the project. I thoroughly enjoyed the world tour, delivering results for the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque. I re-discovered the love of the unknown that I had from the Mini. Interestingly my best race results came from my time in Class40, but that was just a phase. I was less engaged then than I was with the Mini or during the VG. It is vital to keep some of that sense of adventure. If we only think about the sporting aspects, we lose some of the magic of these amazing round the world races. But with my ‘new’ boat and the time to progress the campaign, for sure there will be more focus on the sporting aspects ! »
Were you surprised by the impact of the 2012 campaign ?
« Totally. We did well and could not prepare for that outcome. The emotion of the arriva is enormous and you realise then all the people that invested in the project. The start also, thats a pretty special moment too : when your shore team leave the boat, you realise that this time it’s real, you’re on your own and you are off around the world ! »
Tell us more about this next campaign
« Its a new challenge. With a 2nd sponsor now on board (K-Line) and Initiatives and a new boat, we have to make progress whilst still keep the basic foundations of the campaign in place. My team has grown a bit, but staying on the same principles as before. We are working on a more modern boat, the old Akena Verandas of Arnaud Boissieres, and we have carried out significant modifications to improve its performance. We have modified 8m of the hull, the same thing that Jorg Riechers did on the old Foncia of Michel Desjoyeaux. The whole hull has been re-designed by VPLP-Verdier. »
Your naval architect training must have been useful….
« Actually everything was planned, calculated in detail. I did not have any influence on the design. My training simply enabled me to better understand the reasons why things were done. »
Have you planned to bring the boat specification up to the new class design rule ?
« We are thinking about that. In général, the new design rule is heading in the right direction. The keel cast in one piece – thats obvious. We simply cannot be losing keels like before. For the other matters, we will see through the Route Du Rhum event if they are relevant for us. In a project like ours, we need to constantly evaluate the balance between costs and performance. We have to remain balanced. That’s also the advantage that we have. We have 2 remaining years before the Vendée Globe : that gives us the time to make comparisons, to weigh up the pros and the cons. Nothing is fixed… »
Your support team consists mainly of people from the Mini Transat circuit, clearly that is not done by accident ?
« That’s the pool I draw from. Already the 2012 team has been renewed. Then there are the ways of thinking, of solving problems that we do in our own way. In our team, everyone is very versatile, there are real affinities. And thats before the professional skills of the team which are obviously essential, I really feel that our common backgrounds bring us a better way of working together and understanding each other. In such complex projects, the human element is critical to get right. »