It was in February 2016 that the heads of the Cornu company, which owns the Roland, Mon Village and La Fabrique brands, decided to become Alan Roura’s headline partner for the Vendée Globe. La Fabrique gambled and won enjoying a huge adventure and achieving a great race result, which thrilled the whole country. In March 2017, just a month after their skipper finished, the Swiss company decided not to bring things to an end and committed themselves to a 4-year project for Alan with the main goal being the 2020 Vendée Globe.
“A 2008 generation boat to which we will add foils”
© MACSFI suggested several budgets to my partner,” explained Alan. “Together we agreed that it would be best to go for an intermediate level, which would nevertheless be competitive, by acquiring a boat from the 2008 generation to which we will add foils for the Vendée Globe.” Alan knows that these appendages will be necessary if he wants to be up with the frontrunners in the next Vendée Globe. “As few boats were built for the 2012 Vendée Globe and these were not for sale (the former Banque Populaire which became Maître Coq was later bought by Initiatives-Coeur while the former Macif became SMA), there were just the boats from 2015, which were much too highly priced or those from 2007/2008, which remain very competitive and which we will be able to modify to bring up to date,” added the Swiss sailor, now aged 24.
Between now and the 2020 Vendée Globe, Alan will take part in the major races in the next three seasons with two Transat Jacques Vabre races on the programme and one Route du Rhum, as well as a few other races yet to be decided. This will be the best way to train aboard the new boat.
Alan Roura at the helm of Armel Le Cléac’h’s first boat
The Cornu company has therefore enabled him to acquire the 60-foot boat built in 2007 for Armel Le Cléac’h. The Finot-Conq designed boat built at the Multiplast yard in Vannes was originally launched in the colours of Brit Air, finishing second in the 2008 Vendée Globe and second in the 2010 Route du Rhum. “She is one of the best boats of that generation and was extremely well built and has been well looked after since then,” Alan Roura told us. Bought by Bertrand de Broc in 2012, the boat has since raced in the colours of Votre Nom Autour du Monde (ninth in the 2012 Vendée Globe and sixth in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre) and MACSF (tenth in the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre and forced to retire during the 2016 Vendée Globe). Alan Roura: “The boat was in good shape when she returned to France and we won’t have much work to do before relaunching her this summer, probably in early July. The major modifications will take place later during the seasons that lie ahead, as she will be equipped with foils.”
A budget in place until 2021 but more funding sought
A team of seven or eight people will accompany Alan, who wil be able to prepare adequately. There will be the physical training, a busy sailing schedule and other courses are planned, while the boat will be prepared and fine tuned too. “Even if we are never far from the yard, as I don’t want to miss that, as knowing my boat well was one of my strengths in the last Vendée Globe and I was able to deal with whatever came my way, it is however fantastic that I shall be able to rely on a skilled team, while I go about my business,” explained the young Swiss sailor. While the Cornu Group remains the headline partner for Alan with its various entities, the company aims to open up the project to other firms wishing to join them.
Source: La Fabrique
Translation: Mer & Media