Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Armel Tripon: "The big unknown is how the boat will hold up long term"

by Vendee Globe 28 Oct 2020 23:46 PDT
L'Occitane en Provence © Pierre Bouras / L'Occitane en Provence

The skipper of L'Occitane en Provence seems relatively relaxed and ready to go on what will be his first Vendée Globe. He is taking advantage of every moment of this pre-start period, though he and his team are being super careful on the pontoon and around the race village.

Tripon, who won the Multi50 class in the last Route du Rhum has already planned his race, breaking it into bite sized chunks and already knows the rhythm he wants to achieve on his radical scow bowed foiler.

How has this pre-start period been for you at your first Vendée Globe start as a skipper?

It's quite stressful. We have a sword of Damocles sword above our heads. We have to be so careful with people we meet and our gestures. We stay as isolated as possible, but we still have a lot to do on the boat yet. I still have to be present here but stay very careful. The whole team has been tested, briefed and everyone is working hard to keep each other safe.

That said, do you still enjoy the atmosphere, the people who come to see the boats? Do you still feel some excitement?

For sure it is all a bit less intense that usual. All the teams are each on their boat, no one sees each other in the evening. The party atmosphere is not the same, but there were still a large number of people. The people have responded and joined us here. It still feels a bit unreal for me to be able to be at the start of the Vendée Globe.

When are you going to confine yourself and where?

I will confine myself here in Les Sables d'Olonne this weekend. I won't be far from the boat, I will still be on the phone to the team. And I will be at the computer and will continue working on the weather. But, yes, it's going to be a little weird.

Where are you with your supplies and spare equipment?

It's almost done. In terms of spare equipment, everything is almost finalized too. We still have two days of work on the boat and then we will load everything in race configuration!

How many days of food do you take on board? What is your treat?

I have 75 days of food and my favourite treat is chocolate, I have two bars per week.

How many miles have you done with your boat?

In total 7,000 miles. That's two Transats actually. It's kind of what we were aiming for at the start of the season's planning. I sailed in quite varied conditions, I have been able to push the boat hard, that was what I wanted. Now the big unknown is how it holds up long term. It will be up to me to take that into account and look after the boat.

What are the strengths of your boat compared to an APIVIA or a Charal?

I don't know their strengths exactly, but we made the choice of a "scow". It's a boat with a very large bow which makes it easier to deal with the waves and the sea. We know for one thing that the boat behaves better, it is less stressful and more comfortable for the skipper, which is a good thing. And for the equipment too, there are fewer sudden stops, fewer brakes. Then we also made the choice of different foils that we can also completely take out and I think that in heavy weather it is not bad to be able to ease off. When I talk to the guys from Banque Populaire, they tell me that on the last race sometimes the boat would literally go too fast even though it had only small foils.

How do you think about dealing with the loneliness?

I kind of programme myself to think of it lasting 70 days and the last 10 days you feel like you are on the way home. You pass the Horn, you only have 10-15 days left so it'll go in pretty quickly! If you break the route into sections, it's the doldrums in seven days, the Indian in 10 days and so finally there is a think it will be rhythmic and not that long. That's the idea I have in my head.

How are you going to approach the start of the race, do you already have your strategy in mind?

Yes of course, this is a question that I have been asking myself for a long time, which has evolved. I have a strategy yes, but I can't reveal it now!

You sleep well?

Yes, very good! I asked my sponsor what, as a successful businessman, his secret was. He told me that the secret for him is to sleep well. I have between 8 and 9 hours each night plus afternoon naps. I have worked a lot on sleep and today we know that leaving with full batteries or more, it allows you to push the machine harder and to have something in reserve.

You look very serene. Did you work on the mental aspect?

Yes a lot. It is an essential part of this competition. This has been an area of interest to me for several years. There is a lot in breathing, it should be taught in school! Deep breathing from the belly is really calming. It is very effective for those who know how to use it. I use it a lot!

Do you have many L'Occitane products on board?

Yes, of course, the boat is loaded with L'Occitane products! I mainly use the shea butter hand cream which is L'Occitane's flagship product. After I have the shower gel, a few small products like that.

www.vendeeglobe.org/en

Related Articles

Alain Leboeuf new President of the Vendée Globe
A long and successful career in the service of the Vendéens This week the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée unanimously elected Alain Leboeuf as the new President of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 24 Jul
Benjamin Dutreux raises his game for 2024
With the purchase of 11th Hour Racing IMOCA Benjamin Dutreux, the French solo racer whose home town now is Les Sables d'Olonne, confirmed on Tuesday this week that his team have purchased the IMOCA 11th Hour Racing. Posted on 16 Jul
Summer, little time to pause for IMOCA skippers
'Holiday time' for the Vendée Globe stars episode #1 Don't think for one minute you'll find them lazing around on a beach. Almost six months after they reached dry land, those who took part in the Vendée Globe are planning a hard summer of studying and won't have much time to enjoy themselves. Posted on 11 Jul
Antoine Cornic living an adventure
Wanting to take part in the Vendée Globe adventure in 2024 At the age of 42 and a resident of the island of Ré, where he runs a restaurant, Antoine Cornic, who was born and bred by the sea, has always dreamt of sailing away and enjoying every moment out there. Posted on 5 Jul
Vendée Globe - Vision 2024
The tenth edition, starting November 2024, is on everyone's mind Almost 6 months after the first skippers crossed the Vendée Globe finish line already the tenth edition, starting November 2024, is on everyone's mind. Posted on 20 Jun
Champions All, Vendée Globe prize-giving
Thirty-one of the 33 skippers muster in Les Sables-d'Olonne Thirty one of the 33 skippers who competed in the 9th Vendée Globe mustered in Les Sables-d'Olonne on Saturday for the official prize-giving and closing ceremony which saw Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ) receive top award as the overall winner. Posted on 23 May
A new Medallia for Pip Hare for 2024 Vendée Globe
The new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 British skipper Pip Hare and her sponsors Medallia have confirmed they are the new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 which Louis Burton sailed to third place on the Vendée Globe. Posted on 16 May
All you need to know about the new IMOCA rules
A limit on foil size, measures to reduce environmental impact and contain costs The updated IMOCA rule seeks to limit foil size and limit environmental impact and to contain costs. The new rules which are in force until 2025 were unveiled by the IMOCA Class last week. Posted on 7 May
Vendée Globe - On course for 2024
A starter for 10... they have done it before and already said 'yes' The huge wave of enthusiasm for the Vendée Globe during and after the last edition means there are more and more solo skippers intimating their plans to do the next race which will start November 2024. Posted on 4 May
Interview with Catherine Chabaud MEP
First female Vendée skipper now cares for ocean health Back In 1997 Catherine Chabaud became the first female sailor to complete the Vendée Globe, taking sixth place and in so doing becoming the first woman to race solo non stop around the world without assistance. Posted on 28 Apr
Get My Boat 2021 FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomSea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - FOOTER