HomeNEWSThe Ocean Race - TR Racing bringing F1 spirit to race preparation

The Ocean Race – TR Racing bringing F1 spirit to race preparation

With a long-term view to the next edition of The Ocean Race, the IMOCA team TR Racing has a short-term focus on a couple of transatlantic crossings this month, followed by the Vendée Globe this autumn.

With two IMOCAs being raced by skippers Thomas Ruyant and Sam Goodchild, TR Racing is taking a novel approach – one that Ruyant is calling ‘F1 style’ – to its preparation for this year’s Vendée Globe.

The two skippers are scheduled to race in the New York to Vendée Les Sable d’Olonne event starting 29 May, but first will deliver their respective IMOCAs – racing under the banner Vulnerable – to the iconic American city, via Portugal, starting this week.

The delivery itself is set to be an important testing and trial phase for each skipper as the team outlined on Monday:

The East to West crossing, starting Monday from Lorient, will be divided into two sections, from Brittany to Lisbon, and then from the Portuguese capital to the “Big Apple”. The two IMOCAs will freely push each other and accumulate a considerable amount of performance data offshore, which will be dissected and analysed in real-time by the team’s engineers, fueling the insatiable thirst for performance of both skippers. To maximise this quest for optimization, the two Vendée Globe contenders will not sail alone across the Atlantic. Thomas will be accompanied by Morgan Lagravière and navigator-architect Antoine Koch, while Sam will have Benjamin Ferron and Paul Médinger on board, all experts capable of continually finding the keys to performance, regardless of conditions.

Sam Goodchild said:
“It’s important to give ourselves time to refine our approach to the Vendée Globe. After many rewarding day sails since our respective launches, Thomas and I will be able to raise the bar a bit by sailing together offshore and over longer periods. By bringing the team’s technicians on board, the gain in performance will be increased, and the lessons even more beneficial, as the external perspectives of our teams will be relevant. Sails, adjustments, boat behaviour in varied sea and wind conditions… so many areas that will be scrutinised by their expertise.”

Thomas Ruyant said:
“The confrontation between two high-performance boats is truly the ‘plus’ of the TR Racing Team. We’re making the most of this incredible advantage that the team logic provides, much like it has existed in Formula 1 racing for a long time. We will optimise and intensify this logic by sailing as a team. It’s an opportunity to bring our sailor-engineers on board, who can apply their observations in all aspects of the game on the spot. Numerous speed tests are planned before reaching the Azores, and if the weather cooperates by providing us with a variety of conditions, we should learn a lot from this East to West crossing to New York.”

While the TR Racing team is pushing its F1-style preparation towards the Vendée Globe this year, The Ocean Race is a clear long-term objective.

Alexandre Fayeulle, the Chairman of Advens, and the founding partner of TR Racing and owner of the two IMOCA boats told the Tip and Shaft newsletter that the addition of fully-crewed racing in The Ocean Race is a game changer for IMOCA.

“For me, the IMOCA is the premier class. Over the past few years, the level has become higher and higher, the competition fiercer and fiercer, and the spectacle is grandiose! And the fact that there is now The Ocean Race is a decisive factor which changes the game, with a really attractive circuit, which goes beyond the national perimeter, and offers a mix of crewed, double-handed and solo racing. Today, I clearly want to do The Ocean Race Europe (in 2025) then The Ocean Race (around the world) in 2027/2028…”

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