Safran relaunched

Morgan Lagraviere's new steed afloat once again after disastrous Transat Jacques Vabre

Thursday March 31st 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

In the early hours of Wednesday, Safran was relaunched in Port-la-Forêt. Soon after, the team set about stepping her wing mast, a tricky operation involving adjustment of the outriggers.

With time in the shed now over, so progress towards the Vendee Globe continues with one the water development and refinement to make Safran competitive in the IMOCA fleet.

For skipper Morgan Lagravière, plus Roland Jourdain and the Kairos team, a period of intensive sailing has begun. The stated objective: for Lagravière to accumulate experience, and to capture all the data to improve the performance of the boat.

Lagravière is eager to get started: “Above all I’m happy for the team: They’ve really given everything so that the boat could be launched on time. We’ll be able to get out of the hands of the composites team and do some test sailing. My goal remains the same: sail, sail and sail again. To feel the team is with me is an extra source of motivation. There’s a human element to this group that convinces me that we can do great things.”

Roland Jourdain, who managed the whole launch process, added: “Morgan and I are in complete agreement on what needs to be done to be ready for the Vendée Globe. He has the talent, the drive, and the competitive spirit - all that remains is to construct the ecosystem. That's why it’s essential to be in harmony within the team and to have a common vision. Morgan must now learn about managing performance over three months of racing. Often in the Vendée Globe, your greatest opponent is yourself.”

When Safran returned to the boatyard three months ago, 30 March was set as the deadline to relaunch to allow Lagravière to stick to his training programme. This was only possible thanks to the collaboration between the CDK boatyard, designers VPLP – Verdier, and the Safran team.

Gérard Le Page, Chairman of the Safran Sailing Team, explains: “The work of the experts chosen jointly by the three stakeholders - the boatbuilder, the designers and the technical team - has reassured us about our analysis.

"The leak suffered during the Transat Jacques Vabre cannot be attributed to a single cause, but rather to a combination of several elements.

"The [repair] work consisted mainly in strengthening the structure of the hull with additional stringers to cover the surface of the carbon panels. The resistance to deformation has therefore been greatly increased. The goal is very clear: it’s imperative that Morgan has a boat in which he feels totally confident for the season ahead and for the Vendée Globe.”

Safran will make its first trip next weekend, before the non-stop IMOCA training at Port-la-Forêt begins from 5 April. Between the different training periods on the programme, Lagravière still needs to complete a 1,500 mile sail to qualify the boat, before making a delivery at the start of May, destination New York: “We’ll rack up the miles. Luckily, that’s what we're here for!”

April: training and sailing
Early May: departure of the delivery to Newport (USA)
29 May: Start of the New York – Vendée Transat
Around 6 June: finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
June-September: training and boatyard
November 6: Vendée Globe


Note to editors:
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of 17.4 billion euros in 2015. Working independently or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of more than 2 billion euros in 2015. Safran is listed on Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index, as well as the Euro Stoxx 50 European index.

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