Because the 2022 Route du Rhum approaches, we check out a number of the prime names set to compete within the race. Toby Heppell appears at Alan Roura’s possibilities
Swiss-born sailor Alan Roura already has two Vendée Globe races to his title. He participated in his first, the 2016-17 version of the occasion, when he was simply 23 years outdated, making him the youngest ever competitor within the solo continuous around the world race.
Roura completed a reputable twelfth in that first try on the Vendée Globe. He was so younger on his first try, that even when Alan Roura lined up 4 years later for a second shot on the Vendée, he was nonetheless the youngest skipper on the startline.
The 2020-21 version of the race noticed an awesome many technical woes for the Swiss sailor and he lastly crossed the end line in seventeenth total.
Alan Roura’s crusing historical past is an attention-grabbing one. Having sailed on Lake Geneva via his early youth, he then spent 11 years crusing internationally together with his household on their very own boat earlier than lastly discovering the attract of offshore racing. He competed in his first main offshore race on the age of 20, participating within the Mini Transat – simply three years later he can be on the startline of the Vendée.
Since that early foray within the shorthanded racing scene, Roura has competed in all the massive races on the calendar with a number of Transat Jacques Vabre and Route du Rhum races to his title. He has not not but picked up a podium in any of the transatlantic races he has taken on, however till now neither has he had a contemporary technology IMOCA below him.
Roura has, nonetheless, demonstrated that he has the outright tempo to be a think about a 2022 Route du Rhum or 2024-25 Vendee Globe race, as he proved himself greater than succesful in 2019 when he set a brand new North Atlantic solo crossing file, which nonetheless stands to today.
IMOCA 60 Hublot
Sail quantity: SUI 7
Design: VPLP with Pete Hobson
Builder: Carrington Boats, Southampton (GB)
LWL: 18,28 m
Beam: 5,40 m
Draught: 4,50 m
Weight: 7,6 tonnes
Mast peak: 29 m
There was a lot hypothesis surrounding who would buy Alex Thomson’s latest Hugo Boss after the 2020-21 Vendee Globe. However it was Alan Roura alongside his headline sponsor Hublot who picked the boat up, immediately making Roura one to observe.
The boat is radical in its design and confirmed some spectacular bursts of velocity. However it by no means managed to point out what it might do over an prolonged time frame.
Structural issues throughout that version of the Vendée hampered Thompson’s efforts and he was ultimately forced to retire with rudder failure within the South Atlantic.
The boat contains a distinctive enclosed cockpit design – now adopted to various levels by different new design IMOCAs – which Thomson hoped would preserve him higher protected and rested and thus capable of work at most capacity for longer intervals of time. It additionally created some vital structural weight saving alternatives.
Hublot additionally had radical c-shaped foils. These have divided opinion. Some see the profit that their capacity to totally retract in gentle climate, lowered publicity to unidentified floating objects and downwind effectivity present. Others assume it’s a step too far by way of optimising for pure downwind efficiency on the expense or upwind or fetching.
No matter the advantages of the novel design, most would agree we’ve not seen the boat at her very best but and Alan Roura shall be hoping to search out the velocity the design confirmed at instances as he goals for Route du Rhum and, finally, Vendée Globe glory.