When the Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération is just around the corner and the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe is in 2 months, The IMOCA Fives - Lantana Environnement skipper Louis Duc reviews lessons from this pre-season: "We clearly enhanced the boat's platform, there is just a final technical stage to reach in order to exploit it 100%. It will be possible next year. But I already learned a lot for the Route du Rhum."

The IMOCA Fives – Lantana Environnement will head to Lorient, where it will join the impressive fleet engaged in the Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération, which is itself a look into the future fight that will happen during the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.
Thanks to the boat enhancements last winter and his strategic common sense, Louis Duc had good results during pre-season trials. He gathered many precious teachings that will help him for the solitary Trans-Atlantic Race ahead...

Are you satisfied regarding the boat's last winter's enhancements*?

Louis Duc: "We clearly enhanced the boat's platform, its behavior changed dramatically. It rears up in closed haul and reaching... There's still a lot of work to do on the sails. We reused and recut sails for now, that cannot exploit the boat's full potential.
We will enhance the ballast system and the recovery. All of this has been anticipated, it will be worked on during the next winter. It will allow full validation of what we will work on up to that moment. The benefit will show.
I'm extremely happy of what has been done so far, moreso with the forthcoming performance gains."

What are the teachings you learn from this pre-season?

Louis Duc: "I was discovering the boat, the goal was to not break. The drift system was brand new, there were stuff to fix... Nevertheless it was a good opportunity to compare myself to the others.
I tried several sail setups - I wasn't really happy with the Vendée Arctique ones - it allowed me to test setups that were a lot better during the Drheam Cup.
When we will have our new sails, all these teachings will be precious knowledge to use. These two races taught me a lot on how to sail that boat."

Which technical goals do you have for Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération?

Louis Duc: "Défi Azimut will test our summer work. There were a lot of several small projects, especially electronics and IT.
Défi Azimut will also be the opportunity to discover other IMOCAs from Maxime Sorel, Paul Meilhat, Jérémie Beyou… even if we do not play within this category, it'll be really fascinating to watch.
This race is exceptional, we'll see how we fare compared to other boats of the same generation as ours..."

The Route du Rhum is closing in…

Louis Duc: "The timing of this season really allowed us to train ourselves, but after Défi Azimut, the goal is to sail as much as possible before reaching Saint-Malo."

* Substitution of straight drifts by tilted ones, shorter mast, reduction in weight of the bulbous bow.

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