Innovation and audacity, with Armel Le Cléac’h and the People’s Bank, like an entrepreneurial wind
On Friday 2 June, the media marathon around Armel Le Cléac’h, winner of the Vendée Globe 2017, continued in Bordeaux. The People’s Bank, sponsor of the skipper for 3 seasons, organized an event in his honor around the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship. Bordeaux Business had the great opportunity to participate in this event rich in human emotions and the pleasure of the taste buds!
Innovation and sport, all sails out
Between innovation, entrepreneurship and sport, the links are not obvious at first sight. However, listening to Armel Le Cléac’h and the Aquitaine Central Atlantic People’s Bank, synergies are easy to implement. At the heart of the feat, of surpassing oneself, the People’s Bank is a regular sponsor of the sportsmen of the sea. Its substantial investments, largely dedicated to research and innovation, have already led to the victory Of Charline PICON, 2016 Olympic champion in RS:X windsurfing, or Loïck PEYRON, winner among others of the route du Rhum 2014. Jonathan LOBERT, 2012 Finn bronze medallist, was also present at the event.
In the face of the elements, the technique, the team, the motivation, the innovation carry these successes. At sea, the personal, temporal and financial commitment induced by such a profession joins in many ways an entrepreneurial reality,both in substance and in form. Like any major technology project, the Vendée Globe involves a consistent risk-taking and a well-established strategy that is part of time.
The Vendée globe carried by the People’s Bank
Armel Le Cléac’h’s participation in this vendée Globe season required a 4-year, 3-year research in the quest for performance to produce a unique and innovative boat. So a whole work of research and development monopolized a team of about ten people including engineers that was carried out. This design office for innovation chose to deviate from the beaten track by abandoning the traditional trimaran (the model with which Armel le Cléac’h had competed in the previous two seasons) for a monohull, incorporating a tool that had never been used other than on multihulls. In order to reduce the travel time, and after a long work of optimization, reliability and development, they developed foils – fins transmitting a carrier force, and thus limiting friction on the hull of the boat.
Beyond innovation, it’s a real gamble to move from research and development to the sea… Strength and conviction, when we know that despite the sizing of a test boat at a scale one third, not all factors were combined for real conditions. However, the bet proved successful as Armel Le Cléac’h completed the Vendée Globe in 74 days, four days less than the previous record.
Entrepreneur, skipper… The keys to a chess game
If a good foundation is required to ensure the success of such a project, it is then the way of “running your boat” that will make the difference. The skipper compares the attitude to having on the boat to “a permanent game of chess” where a strategy must be put in place to leave no gap to the competition. In addition, companies are inspired by sport and team relations. In both cases, cohesion is at the service of performance. In the same way, communication is the key to everyday life and especially in difficult times. It is up to the navigator and the business manager to ensure that it does not clear up in the face of obstacles.
Finally, while innovation is at the heart of sport, it is also at the heart of ambitious business projects. As the People’s Bank so a good way, as the “ultimate symbol of the enterprising person”, Armel le Cléac’h is already announcing a brand new project: creating an innovative trimaran, flying with foils and promising plans.
The expected scale of the project? What we know at the moment is that it should be 32 metres long, 23 metres wide and 38 metres high. Beyond the sporting “exploits” expected of such an undertaking, its results are transposed to ecology, especially in the field of “clean” maritime transport.
BORDEAUX Business of course joins the People’s Bank in wishing good luck to the initiatives, sportsmen and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
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