Mini Transat La Boulangère: Quentin Vlamynck completes the second leg – interview with the skipper

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Quentin Vlamynck, the young skipper of Arkema 3, crossed the finish line of the second leg of the race Mini-Transat La Boulangère race at 11:23 (French time), in Le Marin (Martinique). He came in 6th after 14 days, 21 hours, 15 minutes and 20 seconds at sea. A challenging crossing on board an extremely innovative machine.

16 November 2017 will definitely remain a memorable date for Team Arkema Lalou Multi. Just a few hours after the impressive victory of Lalou Roucayrol and Alex Pella in the Transat Jacques Vabre, Multi50 class, it was Quentin Vlamynck’s turn to complete the Mini-Transat La Boulangère. After he finished 14th in the first leg between La Rochelle and Las Palmas de Grand Canaria, he came in 6th in the second leg of this transatlantic race. Here are the reactions from Quentin on arriving at the finish.

Quentin, you came in 14th in the first leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère and 6th in the second. So you’re on an upward trend…

“I felt more at ease in this second leg. In the overall ranking I should finish in 6th or 7th place, and I’m happy with this performance. The top competitors in the prototype class are impressive and are true experts at handling their machines. They go really fast. For me, it was more about finding out about my boat as part of a long-distance competition while safeguarding the equipment. I made the most of the technical glitches of some of my competitors to climb up a few places. This is what ocean racing is all about.

Quentin Vlamynck completes the Mini Transat La boulangère. © Pierre Bouras

The main objective was precisely to complete the race with your Mini 6.50 which was fitted with many innovations. Bringing a boat like this back into harbor safely is a feat in itself!

Yes, I’m absolutely thrilled and hugely relieved at the same time! Not completing the course was not an option for me, I wanted to prove that this innovative prototype built from recyclable materials could sail across the Atlantic. I put in a lot of effort to get there and took good care of the boat during the race. This result rewards the relentless work initiated two years ago, after the arrival of the Mini Transat 2015.

Quentin Vlamynck at the start of the Mini Transat in La Rochelle. © Vincent Olivaud

Are you happy with the performance of the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3?

This boat has an enormous potential. Sometimes it really blows you away! The day before the arrival, for example, I had a blast as the sea was really flat. The foils are actually very effective when the sea is orderly. But the rest of the time, when the waves build up, the Mini is too small. It’s at the mercy of the sea and this can be very rough. In this transatlantic race, I realized that sailing at high speed is something you need to learn. This boat is demanding physically and the level of stress is high, you can never let your guard down.” 


What’s your program now?

I’m going to take some time off to rest, analyze my race and this very rewarding experience. I’m also going to prepare the Mini’s return journey by cargo ship. Then, the boat will be laid up for its winter refit. I’ll never be far from the Mini and I’m already looking forward to sailing again on the open sea.”

Bravo to Quentin Vlamynck for his performance on the Mini 6.50 Arkema 3 Discover or rediscover it in this short video: