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Charal V2 Emerges

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  • Charal V2 Emerges

    This Monday, July 4, Charal, Jeremie Beyou and his entire team are pleased to unveil Charal 2. While retaining the racy and high-performance DNA of Charal 1 , the Charal Sailing Team has set out to set up a IMOCA more seaworthy, faster, more agile…resulting in an ambitious and daring design.

    The moment is always charged with emotion, enthusiasm and draws up gratifying prospects for the future. Giving birth to a boat, which is moreover one of the most efficient in offshore racing, is the culmination of a long-term work started in November 2020 and the will also, to write with determination the next chapter of the history of Charal in offshore racing.

    More stable, spatulate, narrower and more efficient

    Already in 2018, Charal 1 foreshadowed a new era by being the first IMOCA with large foils launched. Four years and nine podiums later, with a wealth of solid experience, the Team has gone further to further improve its performance. "The reference course, the one that constantly pushes us to give the best, is the Vendee Globe " , explains Jeremie Beyou. To improve stability, behavior downwind and gain consistency, " We tried to avoid the boat sinking as much as possible, especially when the conditions are rough" .

    The teams of the Charal Sailing Team, in close collaboration with the firm Sam Manuard and external contributors, have therefore concentrated their research in order to respond to this problem. To get out of the waves more quickly, gain stability and increase average speeds, the boat wants to be even more distinctive, sleeker and both strong and clear-cut choices have been made.

    What is striking at first glance is the narrowness of the hull, the narrowest of all existing IMOCAs. The front has been designed in scow, "a rounded shape which also allows you to maintain power" emphasizes Jeremie . The center of gravity and weight distribution have also been optimized and set back as far as possible for the same purpose.

    The foils, designed in V, are more discreet and less imposing than on Charal 1 . They contribute to making the monohull "easier to sail whatever the speed and the state of the sea. The idea is to succeed in quickly extracting 100% of its potential and above all to maintain high averages in time" . By being very picky in terms of angle of incidence and profile thickness, the team worked to optimize them as much as possible. Substantial work has also been done on the rudders so that "the boat is as stable as possible" and "that it holds the road". In addition, everything has been done to purify the boat as much as possible so that the flow of water is the least restrictive possible and thus promote aerodynamics. This explains why the surface of the deck is as flat as possible, why the coachroof is minimalist and why the step is so marked. All these structural elements will make it possible to gain in performance in particularly harsh sailing conditions, those of the southern seas in particular.

    "Charal 2, the reward of collective work"

    They are about fifteen engineers, including five within the Charal Sailing Team, to have taken turns to design Charal 2. Then, more than a hundred specialists were busy building the boat, drawing and machining all the parts, almost all prototypes. “We approached 35,000 hours of design and 40,000 hours of construction ,” underlines Pierre-Francois Dargnies , technical director. "Unveiling Charal 2 is a reward and a great moment of emotion for the team and all the companies that participated in this project" , enthuses Jeremie Beyou.

    On the decoration side, an equally assertive V2

    In terms of visual identity, “Novelty in form also impacts design ,” explains Stephanie Berard-Gest, marketing director . "We reinforce our brand codes, the DNA of Charal and the 'Live strong' spirit while insisting on our constant desire to innovate and offer a sportier, more distinguished vision". By using Charal's colors – red, aluminium, black and white – the designer Nicolas Gilles has carried out substantial work on the lines in order to reaffirm the sporty character of the boat and bring it closer to the codes of motorsport.

    Launched July 11

    "I can't wait," smiles Jeremy. What is interesting is that we did not let go of the pressure. We have just completed two races on the podium (2 nd in the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race and in the Vend?e Arctique ). So there is no downtime! ? …. An intense and collective work before the launch scheduled in Lorient on July 11th which will allow the curious to be able to admire it and Jeremie Beyou to quickly take it in hand.

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  • #2

    Charal 2 Launches Into The Great Beyond!


    Having started four Vendee Globes and finished two of them, once on the podium in third place, once after starting a second time nine days late, you would think that Jeremie Beyou had done enough. But not so.

    The 46-year-old skipper from Finistere in northwest France is certainly nowhere near finished with the IMOCA class and nor with the Vend?e Globe, and gets out of bed every morning driven by the goal of finally winning a race that has so far eluded him.

    In a few days, he will launch his new IMOCA, Charal 2 – this time from the board of Sam Manuard with its signature scow bow – and the goal for this boat is crystal clear, as Beyou told the Class when asked what it was that is driving him on.

    “Getting back to the Vendee Globe and winning it,”said the man who won justified acclaim for the way he stuck to his guns when finishing 13th last time out, having started as one of the favourites. “That’s what’s driving me and I think I have the ability to do it and the team to do it and I really have a really strong motivation, so that’s it.”

    But could this be his last new IMOCA? “That’s the big question,”replied the three-time Figaro winner and Volvo Ocean Race winner, laughing as he considered his response. “I can tell you I have all the focus for next time; for 2028 I am not sure. I will tell you after the next one. But I am still really passionate about what I am doing and I have a real chance. So every day I wake up and I come to the shipyard or to the design office and I realise the opportunity I have, so you never want it to stop.”

    This new IMOCA is fascinating because Beyou and his team have again built early in the cycle, but have stepped away from VPLP who they used for Charal 1 – the first of the 2020 generation of new foilers – and chosen Manuard instead. This was a decision partly based on an assessment of Manuard’s first IMOCA project, originally launched as L’Occitane En Provence (now Bureau Vallee), which impressed Beyou with its outright speed. But also on the readiness of Manuard to work with the Charal design team.

    Beyou is quite open about the fact that the relationship between Guillaume Verdier and the design group at MerConcept, who are producing a new boat for Charlie Dalin, Beyou’s main rival at the top of the Class, was an example he wanted to follow. “I think that is one of the big strengths of APIVIA and MerConcept,” he said.

    “They have everything inside the team. They work with Guillaume Verdier, but I think Guillaume leaves the team do a lot of it. He supplies the ideas and then the design team at MerConcept, make it happen. That’s the way we are trying to work with Sam. He has a lot of experience and is convinced by some design ideas but, at some stage, it’s the team inside Charal that makes things happen, so that is why we changed.”

    Beyou makes the point that design teams at the sharp end of the IMOCA world do not just do their work every four years and then melt into the background; they should ideally be a core part of a sailing team in order to drive the continuous evolution of a boat throughout its early racing life. In the last cycle, the revisions and improvements on Charal 1 were relentless, with modifications to almost every aspect of the boat – hull shape, rudders, keel, foils, ballast, deck fittings and sails. “Evolution is a continuous and permanent process,”he said. “That is a central point of the mindset of our sponsor, Charal, in their work in the meat products industry and they wanted to do something similar with us, so that’s the way we work too.”

    Beyou has not lost the appetite for driving change on his new boat should it be required, but he is hoping they have got the hull shape more or less right. “This time, with all the data we have and all the experience we have, I think we won’t have any more to do concerning the hull shape,”he said. “But we know that with ballast volume, bulb weight, sails and appendages and so on we will have changes to make.”

    On the decoration side, an equally assertive V2

    The new boat is based on extensive analysis of Charal 1 and L’Occitane en Provence with the goal of trying to produce a fast, stable and efficient hull shape that is manageable in strong conditions downwind, when the last generation of IMOCAs tended to crash into the waves and stall. “For sure L’Occitane was much better for the Vend?e Globe for going downwind in big seas,” said Beyou. “So yes, that was part of the design. We compared everything between the two boats…and Sam had the intelligence to say that while he was convinced of the type of hull we needed for the Vend?e Globe, he was happy to consider a different hull shape too.

    “So we studied both concepts,” he continued, “and at the end we knew that we needed something with a kind of scow bow, something with more righting moment than Charal 1, but we needed the whole package not to drag too much in the water. So the hull is not large – I think it is the least beamy IMOCA ever designed and the boat is quite like L’Occitane en Provence.”

    The cockpit is based on the earlier Manuard IMOCA too, but has detailed changes to improve the life of a solo skipper. “I had the opportunity to visit the boat of Armel Tripon (the former L’Occitane skipper),” explained Beyou. “The cockpit was really nice and you have great vision of everything happening on deck. The cockpit is generally the same, but we have new details on it too. We worked a lot on ways to be able to trim the sails more easily, so we have more winches on Charal 2 than Charal 1 and more hydraulics. And with the appendages, the idea was exactly the same as with the hull shape – to have a boat that goes straight and is stable – so we put every effort into that.”

    The new boat will make its debut at the Defi Azimut-Lorient Agglomeration in September and then take on its first big race at the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe in November. Among its rivals in that contest will be not just the old Apivia, and Bureau Vallee in the hands of Louis Burton, but new boats like Kevin Escoffier’s PRB, Maxime Sorel’s V And B-Monbana-Mayenne, Boris Herrmann's Malizia-SeaExplorer, Yannick Bestaven’s Maitre CoQ, Sam Davies’s new sistership of L’Occitane, Initiatives-Coeur and Paul Meilhat's Biotherm.

    Beyou believes the next winner of the Vend?e Globe in 2024-’25 will come from this latest generation of foilers, but he is not putting his house on it. “I am certain but I was quite certain last time, so don’t put money on it please,” he said. “But that’s yacht racing and the weather is the deciding factor with everything, so it is difficult to say. We can see that older boats that are changing their foils are going really well, so it is more difficult to say. But I think the boat that will win it, and the skipper that will win it, will have done a big amount of work beforehand.”

    Ed Gorman

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