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Sail-World.com : Lionel Lemonchois penche pour un mâtà ficelles
Lionel Lemonchois penche pour un mâtà ficelles


'Chantier du mât basculant - Juillet 2013'    © DR    Click Here to view large photo

En chantier depuis trois semaines, l'équipe du team voile Prince de Bretagne travaille pour équiper le mât du Maxi80 d'un système de bascule. Pour cette option qui autorise un gain de vitesse immédiat, Lionel Lemonchois a choisi la mise en place d'une solution, simple et innovante à la fois, qui permet de démultiplier les efforts à l'aide de cordages et de palans. Plutôt que des vérins hydrauliques, que l'on retrouve sur tous les autres multicoques Ultimes, c'est donc un 'mât à ficelles' qui va désormais s'incliner au vent à bord du trimaran rouge et gris. Visite guidée et explications… (vidéo en fin de communiqué)

C'est dans le hangar du team Prince de Bretagne, à la base des sous-marins de Lorient, que Lionel et une petite équipe ont pris leurs quartiers d'été au retour de la Route des Princes. Depuis le début du mois de juillet, Jacques Roudot, chef de chantier, et Jean-Marc Kermanach, un fidèle des opérations spéciales, ont ressorti le matériel de stratification composite. Leur mission : renforcer la structure du bateau, là où elle va bientôt recevoir des efforts plus importants.

'Cela fait longtemps maintenant que les mâts des grands trimarans basculent au vent. D'en régler l'inclinaison, cela permet de soulager la plateforme, ce qui autorise à appuyer plus dessus, et donc de gagner en vitesse. Au départ, nous n'avons pas réinstallé le système hydraulique dont était équipé le mât de l'ancien 60 pieds. Nous avons d'abord préféré gagner en longueur de coques et disposer d'un plus grand bateau. Dans nos réflexions pour savoir comment aller plus vite, l'option du système de bascule avec des palans en cascade s'est ensuite imposée d'elle-même. Elle s'inscrit dans la philosophie de la simplicité initiée à l'origine du projet. Nous n'avons rien inventé, mais c'est la première fois qu'un bateau de cette taille sera équipé d'un mât 'à ficelles' ; comme on l'a déjà vu sur un ORMA 60, ou des bateaux beaucoup plus petits, les Minis 6.50,' détaille Lionel Lemonchois.

Pour illustrer ses explications, il montre le chemin bientôt emprunté par les cordages, qui vont, comme le Maxi80 dans son ensemble, chercher la performance hors des sentiers battus : 'Là, sur le bras arrière bâbord, nous modifions et renforçons la cadène de galhauban, une ferrure en carbone qui tient le hauban et le mât debout. Ensuite de chaque côté du gréement, un système de palans à six brins sera ajouté, et se poursuivra le long du bras de liaison pour ramener les bouts sous la casquette. A la sortie, au niveau du winch, les efforts théoriques de 8 tonnes auront été réduits jusqu'à 1,3 tonne. C'est courant, et c'est à l'échelle, du bateau…' ajoute le skipper, qui travaille en collaboration avec les architectes navals du cabinet Van Peteghem-Lauriot Prévost pour les calculs théoriques validant ce développement.

Comme le veut la tradition dans la course au large, le culte du poids léger et le combat contre les kilos en trop ont guidé le choix de cette solution textile. Face aux vérins et aux manettes hydrauliques, les 40 mètres de bouts high tech (Spectra), le jeu de poulies, et les fines couches de carbone ajoutées sur la plateforme affichent, tous cumulés, près de 150 kilos de moins sur la balance. Un gros avantage qui pèse lourd au regard des '2-3 nœuds de plus autorisés selon les allures' par le mât incliné. De l'autre côté, et compte tenu des lois de l'équilibre, Lionel Lemonchois mesure qu'il sera aussi beaucoup plus mobilisé en navigation pour répondre à de nouvelles sollicitations dans le cockpit de son trimaran de 24,3 mètres. 'De la ficelle supplémentaire, cela complique forcément les manœuvres. Il faudra donner d'un côté, et prendre de l'autre. Ce sera un peu plus long et exigeant. Mais tout a été imaginé pour le solitaire, et je devrais y arriver…D'autant que ce système n'est pas conçu pour régater entre trois bouées, mais pour régler l'inclinaison par rapport à la gîte sur des grand bords au large,' ajoute le skipper de Prince de Bretagne, visiblement confiant et serein quant à l'orchestration de sa partition au piano lors des virements de bord.

Pour relever ce challenge de marin, et jouer sans fausse note ses prochaines manœuvres, Lionel Lemonchois peut compter sur sa large expérience du solo à la barre d'un trimaran océanique. Mais il pourra aussi très vite l'étrenner en équipage. Dans les premiers jours du mois d'août, et après ce chantier d'été, qui a aussi permis à Bambino (François Denis), en charge des cordages et de l'accastillage du bateau, de retailler le trampoline et de contrôler tous les winches, le Maxi80 Prince de Bretagne, ainsi équipé de son mât fraîchement basculant, sera remis à l'eau. Dès le 11 août prochain, il est attendu sur la ligne de départ de la légendaire Fastnet Race, où il retrouvera nombre de ses sérieux concurrents. Une occasion privilégiée de tester en grandeur nature, et dans le feu de la compétition, la mise en œuvre de ce dispositif d'inclinaison adapté à une plateforme de telles dimensions. Un choix audacieux, à l'image des avancées techniques permises, et offertes, par les multicoques de la série des Ultimes.



Prince de Bretagne


by Prince de Bretagne Sailing Team

  

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2:40 PM Wed 24 Jul 2013GMT


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