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And then Charal was came to life, Inch by inch and with the greates care in the world

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Inch by inch and with the greates care in the world, CHARAL IMOCA 60 was delivered on Tuesday by CDK Techonolgies boatyard in Port-la-Forêt
CHARAL IMOCA 60 was delivered on Tuesday by CDK Techonolgies boatyard in Port-la-Forêt

Inch by inch and with the greates care in the world, CHARAL IMOCA 60 was delivered on Tuesday by CDK Techonolgies boatyard in Port-la-Forêt, France. This is the next stage of the incredible story of the first IMOCA 60 to have been fully conceived and designed around foils.

- IMOCA 60 CHARAL is launched following a 13-month build

- All is different; huge foils for an angular hull design.

For months Jérémie Beyou and Pierre-François Dargnies, technical director for the Charal Sailng Team, have been promising that the day the IMOCA 60 CHARAL would be a surprise when unveiled. And it certainly was a surprise. With its massive wide and long foils, the monohull looks almost like a multihull. The hull, with its warship-like bow and rounded transom is proof of the change to the norm. Welcome to the new IMOCA era. Welcome to the world of foils. Welcome to the extreme. Since launching the hull moulds on the 29th of July 2017, it has been a race against the clock for 13 months which has not in a revolution but a very strong evolution. Jérémie Beyou, en route to compete in the Vendée Globe for a fourth time, sees this as the culmination of “joint consultations and seeing our ideas take shape. Suddenly, with all the pieces assembled, the boat comes to life.” For the skipper form Brittany, who came third in the 2016/2017 edition of the Vendée Globe, the boat is the result dedicated personal investment, experience gained over the years and the work of a group of people who have listened to Jérémie and who have also known when to challenge him when needed. “We have exchanged throughout the build and ideas have come about along the way and I have also been forced to abandon some initial choices. These moments are crucial: sometimes you can’t turn back and so you have to know how to apply the right method and energy to get the most and the best out of everyone.” From the architects drawing boards to those who have sanded the carbon, a whole chain of skills and knowledge has been put in place and allowed for the boat to see the light of day. Each and every element of this rocket ship is of utmost importance.” On Tuesday, the IMOCA 60 CHARAL was brought out to the multihull hard at Port-la-Forêt before being craned over the pit for the keel to be fitted. On Wednesday Charal will be launched with her keel and no mast. The boat goes to Lorient for the mast to be stepped and for the static and 90- degree righting tests. Then it will be time for the first sail. “Whilst it is wonderful to see the boat leave the shed and show off the shape and the black, silver grey and red colours, which I find great, it is the first sail that I am most impatient and excited about” says Jérémie.

These first sea miles will be the beginning of the long journey to the start of the Vendée Globe in November 2020. “We would like to put the boat in the water before the start of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe (starts this year on the 4th of November) so we can get the most out of an extra year of preparations and modifications” explains Pierre François Dargnies. We know that the boat that goes in the water today is not the boat that will be racing on the Vendée Globe. We have two years to make this IMOCA, the first to be designed for and around foils, a real rocket ship for the Vendée Globe.”

The IMOCA 60 CHARAL in detail

Enormous foils

Jérémie Beyou: “We chose to make foils that are strong to get a maximum power and lift (for the foiling effect). The shaft is very long as is the tip and has a double surface and angled elbow, which highlights the visual impact. They are reasonably thick too because we are going to put quite a lot of arching pressure on the tips. If the boat appears really wide, it is because we can’t raise both foils at the same time : one will always be lowered.

An innovative hull

As the plan was to use the foils to get power, we had to come up with a hull that limits drag knowing that the measurement rules do not allow for full flight. This means we have a very innovative hull with a warship-like bow and rounded and closed transom.” Jérémie Beyou: “the transom is completely different to anything we have seen before in the IMOCA. The bow has had a lot streamlining to reduce the amount of carbon and gain on weight. We have pushed the boundaries to the maximum with one exception, allowing me room to maneouver on the foredeck.”

A condensed living space

Pierre François Dargnies: “Jérémie’s brief put both the living and work areas on a par just like on the Ultimes. It became apparent that it would affect the centre of gravity and so we had to adapt. We designed a boat where the skipper can spend the part of time in the cockpit and virtually reach without moving, the winches, the helm, the chart table and the galley. The idea is to go below the least amount of times needed. Jérémie will be outside permanently but in a protected area from both the wind and the water thanks to the non-retractable coach roof.”

Sensors fit for F1

Jéremie Beyou: “All that supports important loads - the rig, the appendages – has sensors with optic fibre sending back information in real time to my navigation console to then be treated by software that gives me the right reading of the situation. However, unlike the F1 or the Ultime, this information is not relayed to shore. I am the only one who can access this and therefore am then able to act manually as needed.” Photography Copyright: Yvan Zedda / ALeA / Charal

Graphic

The new IMOCA 60 CHARAL in some numbers:

- 2 km of lines on board the IMOCA

- Top boat speed - 40 knots

- 70,000 Number of hours worked on the construction of the boat – or 8 years, 24 hours a day 

- 2.2 tonnes – hull weight equivalent to a whale calf

- 1,185 m2 sail area equivalent to 6 x tennis courts

- 4 m2 Living space on board equivalent to 4 m2

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