Jérémie Beyou’s new course

Always the same desire to do battle. Obviously. And the same rigor in the work. Sure. But, at the start of this Route du Rhum 2022, at the time of casting off this Sunday, November 6, he is no longer quite the same, Jérémie Beyou. He sums it up in his own way: “There, I come back. »

At the Finistérien, the feeling of still being on the way back dominates, a long way since the bitter disillusionment of the Vendée Globe 2020. He was the immense favorite, but the race was transformed, after barely three days, in ” nightmare “. The shock with an unidentified floating object, the very significant damage, the obligation to return to the start to repair, then the choice to set off again, but with no more chance of victory nine days behind its competitors. Three years of intense preparation come to naught.

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Sailing without the hope of winning at the end is not his habit. Jérémie Beyou did it anyway and explained his pride in having explored this truant path. But it was hard ! “It took me quite a while to get back in shape after the Vendée Globe, he lets go. For six months, I was nowhere. I had never imagined such a scenario. We had to react. » The rebound came mainly thanks to the desire to see even bigger, even further.

Thus the contract with the sponsor, Charal, extended until the end of 2026. “We had a great human adventure in the last Vendée Globe, more emotional than expected, complementary, in fact, to the performance values ​​that we always want to seekexplains Stéphanie Bérard-Gest, Marketing Director of Charal. So, on the strength of an even broader acquisition, we wanted to continue and develop our brand strategy. »

A strengthened team, renewed motivation

Jérémie Beyou is starting this new cycle with more resources and a new boat. “For this new campaign, the team has really stepped up and now numbers around twenty people.emphasizes Vincent Beyou, cousin of Jérémie and general manager of the Charal Sailing Team. A design office with four engineers, a performance unit, specialized technicians, in short, an organization that is truly becoming more professional, a fundamental trend at work today in the sailing world. » The cost, necessarily, is not small: several million euros in operating costs are mentioned.

The reference to Formula 1 is therefore often called upon. Jérémie Beyou speaks, him, rather “from the model of the America’s Cup teams”. And this collective challenge has something to do with his gradually returning motivation. “On a daily basis, a team like that which invents, which abounds, is a formidable driving forcehe enthuses. And I think that we can also seduce the general public with this aspect, more technical, of course, but which can also be fascinating. »

the Charal 2performance and reliability

So the Charal 2, launched in July 2022, is a daring new boat. If there are seven new boats in the Imoca class on this Route du Rhum (monohulls cut for the Vendée Globe), out of 37 boats entered, only three come out of new moulds, the others being what we calls “sister-ships”, versions of existing models.

In Saint-Malo, the first on the quay reserved for Imoca, Jérémie Beyou’s courier is distinguished by its narrowness and the roundness of its bow. Objective: to prevent the boat from diving too much into the wave and then losing speed. Being able to maintain high averages over the long term is the holy grail of any sailor.

The effort is also focused on reliability. The foils – these fins which ensure periods of surfing on the monohull – are less important than on Charal 1and the rudders are also supposed to provide more stability to the boat.

A new boat to tame

How to play the leading roles on the Route du Rhum? Jérémie Beyou is not there for that. His boat, he wants above all to listen to it, to tame it. Too many things are still to be developed, even if these first releases have revealed great potential. The Route du Rhum is just one stage on the way to the Vendée Globe.

“The main thing this time is to crossconcludes Jérémie Beyou. Even if, afterwards, when you’re on the water, you can’t help but want to be in front. » He smiles. Not quite the same, but not so different either.


Plethora of favorites

The suitors are legion in this Route du Rhum. Among the Ultimes, Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) is a scarecrow, winner of all the races for three years. As for the Ocean Fifty multihulls, the battle should rage between the Englishman Sam Goodchild (Leyton), the former winners Erwan Le Roux (Koesio) and Armel Tripon (Les P’tits Doudous) and the freshmen Quentin Vlamynck (Arkema) and Sebastien Rogues (Primonial).

In Imoca, it’s not the new boats that are winning the forecasts but rather the largely reliable couriers of Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut). In Class40, Yoann Richomme (Paprec Arkea) will have to do his best to retain his title. Finally in Rhum Mono, Jean-Pierre Dick (City of Nice) is the man to beat, when in Rhum Multi, all eyes will be on Philippe Poupon (Flo).


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