You have worked on the IMOCA projects of Chabaud, Desjoyeaux, Josse, Eliès, Le Cleac’h, Jourdain… what other IMOCA project would you have liked to work on?
Pierre-Emmanuel Hérissé: Not sure I had enough time for another project but it could be interesting to work for someone like Alex Thomson
In addition to foils, what do you consider the three major technical innovations of IMOCAs?
Pierre-Emmanuel: For sure the foils are definitely an impressive evolution, hard to find an evolution at the same level. But the decision made by the IMOCA class to have some monotype part like keel, hydraulic system and mast increased a lot the boats reliability. We can also talk about the progress made on the autopilots.
What would you change on the IMOCA rule?
Pierre-Emmanuel: For me is time to allow the foil rake, the next step for foiling development.
You began in Team Banque Populaire with the multihull project for the Jules Verne record after your long experience in IMOCAs, was it difficult to get adapted?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Not really, on the past I had the chance to work on different ORMA 60 like Banque Covefi, Géant and Banque Populaire 4 in 2005.
What do you prefer: IMOCAs or maxi multis?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Even if I spent much more time on the IMOCAs, I definitely prefer sailing on trimarans. Those boats are incredible, the sensation that you feel on board is magic!
How does a Vendée project differ from a Jules Verne project?
Pierre-Emmanuel: This is really different. I think is hard to prepare a boat for the Vendée Globe. Essentially because this is a single handled race. Every piece, every system, every detail on board has to be managed by one person. Even a small damage on the race can be a big issue. You have to think about the entire potential problem and try to find the easiest solution to fix it. Vendée Globe is longer than a Jules Verne, the boat has to be reliable for 75 days.
Have you had the opportunity to sail on many boats of the first level, which was the one that impressed you the most?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Hard question, many boat were impressive. I think Banque Populaire V was the one! I hope that one day I will have the chance to sail on the AC45.
Have you suffered a lot during this Vendée? Did you slept well?
Pierre-Emmanuel: This Vendée Globe probably has been the hardest Vendée to follow. As soon as you are in the position to win you start thinking all the time that something can break the dream! Specially since December, 13th when we had that problem on the sail-mast hook.
What is the most difficult issue when you have a boat in the Vendée?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Hard to think about something else, you are full time concentrate on the event.
As disclosed recently, Banque Populaire is impulsing a new Ultim project. Which is the sailing program expected?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Armel and the boat will participate to the following races: Transat Jacques Vabre 2017, Route du Rhum 2018 and Race Around the World 2019
Are maxi multihull foilers possible?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Yes, all the design team is already working on that goal.
Is DrSails useful for your projects?
Pierre-Emmanuel: Of course! We have some DrSails product on the spare for every race. But to be honest we hope to never use it.