Skippers' words

Nov 2, 2017

Skippers' words

Listening and exchanging ideas is valuable and constructive

“Beyond the performance level of the sails, there is also the listening, the exchange: it is valuable and constructive”, Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of the Multi 50 Arkema and a regular client of Incidence sails. An offshore racing division has been set up in the number one French sailmaker to better meet the expectations of the skippers and their teams. Incidence will be well represented in the 4 classes at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, on November the 5th, in Le Havre.

Incidence has always worked with offshore sailors, engaging in collaborations based on listening and exchange, aiming to optimise performance. The designers and technicians of Incidence sailmakers are also competitors. They are driven by performance. When they start to work with a skipper they too are in the race. Each sail is made to measure, in close connection with the competitor and his team. It is refined, then optimised after the first tests and then a thorough debrief carried out with the competitor at the end of each race. A true bond of trust emerges from these exchanges. Everyone is committed, with the same focus for high performance.

It is a sail loft that works on a human scale and which is committed and looks always to innovate. Everyone has a special function and everyone gets the most out of it. As competitors, we get high performance sails that are continually upgraded with the feedback we give”, Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of the Multi 50 Arkema.

“I waited for Incidence to engineer the DFi to work with the sailmakers again, and it is going very well”. Lionel Lemonchois, skipper of the Maxi 80 Prince de Bretagne.

“My main contact is Ronan (Ronan Floch, Brest BE designer, editor’s note), I was already working with him when I was racing in the Figaro Bénéteau, so it made sense to carry on with the IMOCA. We have worked on improving the sails right from the outset and SMA programme launch”. Paul Meilhat, skipper of the IMOCA60 SMA.

“The work carried out, both in the sail loft with Gilles and his team and in the design office with Maxime Paul and Ronan Floch, is very positive. There was a lot of exchanges, I had some specific requests for the Code 0 and A3 and then it up to them to do their job!” Aymeric Chappellier, skipper of the Cass40 Aïna, Enfance et Avenir.

An offshore racing division
An offshore racing division is in place at the Incidence sail loft, with dedicated points of contact: Julien Gresset, based in Lorient, in the heart of the “Sailing Valley”, César Dohy, based in La Rochelle and Sylvain Chtounder in Toulon. Two designers are specialised in the design of racing sails: Ronan Floch and Maxime Paul, former member of the French Team for the 2012 Olympic Games. They work in the Brest and La Rochelle design offices respectively, and collaborate regularly. Charlie Pinot, who specialises in Mini and IRC, worked on the design of the wing of the revolutionary Mini Arkema. To conclude, whilst not in direct contact with the competitors, Pierre-Antoine Morvan, head of membranes development at Incidence Technologies and an experienced Match Racer, is one of the precious resources of the offshore race division of Incidence Sails.



Skippers’ words

Paul Meilhat, skipper of the IMOCA60 SMA
“When we came back from the Vendée Globe, we had ordered a J2 and a J3 with a new cut and increased surface to optimise performance in reaching. We are very happy with them! They really correspond to what we were looking for and perfectly meet our expectations. Apart from the gennaker and the spinnaker, all our sails are in DFI: the Vendée Globe J1, the 2016 mainsail also, and this year’s J2 and J3. The mainsail, used on The Transat (in rough conditions) and on several other navigations, held its shape, and the same applies for the J1 which was used in the Vendée Globe. It is very positive. The next step will be to work on the downwind sails: they will be in DF Radial, a material tested by Eric Bellion on the Vendée Globe.”

Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of the Multi 50 Arkema, Full Incidence, the first racing boat to have been equipped with sails in DFi.
“We had a new gennaker made in DF panel: it is no different; it is definitely a great improvement compared to what we had before! Our old kevlar gennaker must have weighed 80 kg, and now it is at most 60 kg... It is also much flatter, it holds its shape, the gust is directly transformed into acceleration. It is very easy to handle, there is no longer the stiffness problem that there was with the first sails in DFi.
I have had a J1 for three seasons, it was the beginnings of the DFi: the shape has held, it is quite impressive. The mainsail has two seasons to its credit. Again, the shape is almost perfect, there is a little stretching, but nothing significant. The next set of sails will be of course in DFi and in DF Panel. The sails will be even lighter and no doubt flatter.

The key features of Incidence are proximity and dialogue with everyone (sales representatives and design office): they listen and there is a continuous exchange of ideas. It is a sail loft on a human scale. Everyone has a special function and everyone gets the most out of it. As competitors, we see the direct impact when our feedback and contributions results in sail performance improvement. We had a very interesting debrief last winter: we were the first to have sails in DFi, so it is a very valuable feedback.”

Aymeric Chappellier, skipper of the Class40 Aïna enfance et avenir, fully equipped with Incidence sails, flat sails in DFi.
“The sails are beautiful! The boat is going fast, I'm really happy. If the sails were to be replaced, I would fully trust them!”



Incidence Sails on the Transat Jacques Vabre  

Aymeric Chappellier (Aïna, Enfance et Avenir): full Incidence
Phil Sharp (Imerys): spi A2


Multi 50
Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema): full Incidence
Erwan Le Roux (FenêtréA – Mix Buffet): J2 in DFi (2016)
Thierry Bouchard (Ciela Village): full Incidence
Armel Tripon (Réauté Chocolat): full (except code 0 and J3)
Gilles Lamiré (Rennes Métropole): full Incidence


Manuel Cousin (La Mie Câline): full Incidence
Morgan Lagravière (Des voiles et vous): flat headsails in DFi (2016)
Paul Meilhat (SMA): full except spi
Yoann Richomme (Vivo a Beira): full Incidence


Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne): full Incidence


Photo Bernard Le Bars