Alex Pella and Lalou Roucayrol will now form team Multi50 Arkema. They have less than three months to train together until the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2017Multi50 Arkema. Credit: Vincent OlivaudSpanish sailor Alex Pella will now join Lalou Roucayrol on board Multi50 Arkema for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2017.
It comes after Roucyrol’s original co-skipper, Karine Fauconnier suffered an injury during training.
Pella and Roucyrol now have less than 80 days to get to know each other’s sailing styles before crossing the starting line off Le Havre on 5 November.
They will need to work as an effective team to beat the others racing the historic coffee trading route towards Brazil.
Fauconnier will still remain actively involved in the team, and will be on land in charge of routing and weather strategy.
Alex Pella and Lalou Roucayrol. Credit: Lalou Roucayrol/Team Arkema Lalou Multi
“We’re very sorry about this situation as the Lalou and Karine pair had already put a lot into this. They were working very well, and now we have to start all over again,” explained team manager, Fabienne Baron-Roucayrol.
“But this was the wisest and most reasonable decision when it comes to the health of a sailor and the performance of a boat,” he added.
Pella has an impressive nautical CV and a superb record of achievements to his credit: three round-the-world races (one on a monohull, two on a multihull), joint holder of the Trophée Jules Verne with the IDEC Sport crew skippered by Francis Joyon, winner of the legendary Route du Rhum 2014 in Class40.
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“Alex Pella is an international skipper with an eclectic profile. At sea he’s ruthless, very hard-working, He will go to any length and is very good at sailing and managing the boats,” stated Multi50 Arkema’s skipper, Roucayrol.
“He’s a good all-rounder who sails a lot, on monohulls, on multihulls, on traditional boats. He’s not too familiar with the Multi 50, but I’m absolutely sure he will soon get the hang of it,” he continued.
We have 80 days to sail together, get to know each other better, qualify, practice getting our bearings together, and sail the Multi 50 Arkema efficiently,” added the 53-year-old, who won the Transat Québec-Saint-Malo 2016 in Multi50 Arkema.
Karine Fauconnier (left) will become part of the shore team. Credit: Delphine Trentacosta/Team Arkema Lalou Multi
Commenting on his appointment as the new co-skipper of the Multi50 Arkema for the Transat Jacques Vabre, Pella said: “I’m going to give it my all!”
“The Multi 50 are boats of a reasonable size, relatively straightforward, and no doubt a lot of fun, especially with the foils! I have sailed a lot on bigger multihulls in recent years: on the maxi trimaran IDEC Sport, on MOD 70, on the trimaran Prince de Bretagne… So I won’t be lost,” he noted.
“The challenge is to catch up as quickly as possible to help Lalou run an excellent Transat Jacques Vabre race, if not win it. I’m certain we can achieve this,” continued Pella.
“It’s a big challenge for me personally and from a sporting viewpoint. The competition is going to be tough and this is spurring me on even more,”concluded the 44-year-old.
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