New four year sponsorship for Desjoyeaux

This morning the double Vendee Globe winner announced his new two boat campaign with Foncia

Thursday January 21st 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Michel Desjoyeaux has announced his impressive campaign with his sponsor, Foncia, a sponsorship that will last for the next four years, through until 2014. Over this period Desjoyeaux will focus primarily on two projects – the build of a new IMOCA Open 60. This is destined to compete in this year’s Route du Rhum, followed in quick succession by the Barcelona World Race. Then from 2011 Foncia, with the double Vendee Globe winner as skipper will join the MOD70 one design multihull class for its first season. Desjoyeaux presented his new project at the Café de l’Homme, in the basement of the Musée de la Marine à Paris.

Having become started their sailing sponsorship back in 1999, Foncia has now reaffirmed its involvement in this arena by extending its partnership with Michel Desjoyeaux (which began in 2007) until 2014. “As with all companies involved in sport, we seeking an image and values which are faithful to our profession which, it is worth remembering, is a service profession,” states Yves Gevin (above with MichDes), President of Foncia Group’s Board of Directors. “Sailing wonderfully embodies the values of authenticity, sincerity, perseverance, daring, team spirit and rigour. We’re sending all these powerful messages to our colleagues about the position, behaviour and mindset we wish to develop with our clients. This is why FONCIA is sticking with this process alongside Michel, who honoured us with an exceptional year in 2009, punctuated by a series of fantastic victories. How can we better that? By launching into new projects which are both ambitious and innovative.”

The first part of this grand scheme is already well underway the building of a new IMOCA Open 60, Desjoyeaux’s third and this time to a design by popular partnership of VPLP and Guillaume Verdier, who designed Groupe Bel and Safran for the last Vendee Globe. Designs have already been handed over to the builders of the new boat, CDK Composites, a yard run by Desjoyeaux’s elder brother Hubert, with construction due to start imminently.

When his new Foncia IMOCA Open 60 is launched Desjoyeaux will compete in the Route du Rhum, which he won aboard his ORMA 60 Geant in the storm-stricken 2002 race. There will follow a rapid about-turn from the finish in Guadeloupe, the boat returning to Europe in time for the Barcelona World Race start. Doublehanded, this non-stop round the world race organized by FNOB, the Foundation for the Oceanic Navigation of Barcelona represents an entirely new challenge for Desjoyeaux, who has twice competed in the Whitbread Round the World race but is better known for his singlehanded exploits.

"The programme’s a bit full-on," admits Desjoyeaux, "but you have to keep on taking up challenges and calling yourself into question, without hesitation. That doesn’t bother me, in fact I’d even go so far as to say that it motivates me even more. I’m very happy about these new prospects."

He continues: "With the construction of the new monohull within a time frame of 7 and a half months, we’re going to have to break some speed records! We have a lot of work ahead of us. I announced that to my team the day before yesterday and there eyes were sparkling. As such we’ve got a lot on our plate. As regards the one design trimaran which will follow on from that, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. There’s a real lack of oceanic multihulls in the French and international landscape. The future is in multihulls and I’m proud that we’re the first to announce this participation in the MOD 70 circuit."

Designer Guillaume Verdier comments: "It’s a new project that we’re inevitably tackling from a new viewpoint. We’re putting in place a big design team. Alongside me I’ll have Benjamin Muyl and Romaric Neyhousser, who have worked with me for some time. Alongside VPLP, it will be Xavier Guilbaud. They’ll inevitably be a great deal of exchanging of ideas, especially with Michel’s vast experience."

Co-designer Vincent Lauriot Prévost, adds: "Michel has gathered together a team that we are part of and which works around him. His brother Hubert also plays a very big part. Usually it is the architect who is at the centre of these debates as regards the design, but in this instance it’s Michel who is hosting proceedings with a high level of input. He fires off ideas and then we discuss them to see whether or not we’re going to use them. He has his specifications with some clear, precise ideas of what he wants. The project must be fast as the boat has to be ready quickly. This 60 footer will be a development from the approach we took with Paprec-Virbac (second generation of the VPLP-Verdier designs), even though we’re making new moulds. And there are bound to be a fair number of ‘Desjoyeaux touches’ in the concept."

Following on from the Barcelona World Race, there will be a change of program as well as a change of circuit. Desjoyeaux has always dreamed of returning to his first love, the multihull. As such, he is the first to announce his participation in the new Multi One Design circuit, with the objective between now and 2012 being to gather together an international fleet of 12 one design trimarans for a crewed offshore and inshore programme. “In all sports, there is an ultimate. In sailing, the ultimate is sailing on multiple hulls. Multihulls are spectacular, lively boats. The speed hits you immediately and draws you in, as does the sense of power. More care is required to drive these boats, which are more sophisticated, more demanding and at times dangerous… In short, they top the bill. I hope that we’ll be able to show off the beauty of these machines and that those unfamiliar with multihulls will discover the pleasures of racing such boats” says Desjoyeaux.

For Foncia, which made its début in the ORMA multihull class with Alain Gautier, this second chapter of Desjoyeaux’s programme is a return to its roots. The first test sails aboard the new Foncia MOD70 trimaran will take place in the autumn of 2011.

This new programme reinforces the below-the-line support strategy orchestrated around sailing sponsorship and Michel Desjoyeaux, who has become ambassador of the Foncia brand. Yves Gevin confirms the firm’s willingness to continue this partnership: “With Michel, we’ve gone that extra mile in terms of the communication of Foncia, which originally began with getting the general public to recognise who we were. It may be said that today one in two French citizens know about Foncia - this figure was one in four just two years ago.

“A second milestone was passed last summer when we began communicating about our work in our televised adverts (ref.: management of joint ownership, letting management, rental and sale of property). It’s through our reliance on sailing and Michel’s exacting character and strictness that we achieved that. We’re going to continue with this practice so that the French get to know us better, as well as becoming more familiar with our ambitions and the services we’re able to provide”, emphasises Yves Gevin. “Compared with many other opportunities, sailing sponsorship remains extremely reasonable in terms of the outlay. The increase in prestige after our victory in the Vendée Globe is evidence of this: the impact of the sponsorship project in relation to the equivalent purchase of advertising space was 10 to 15 times the initial investment.”

Provisional schedule:
- 18th January 2010: start of construction of the new 60 foot Imoca FONCIA (VPLP-Verdier design) at CDK Technologies
- August 2010: Launch, initial test sails, fine tuning, training, qualification for the Route du Rhum
- 31st October 2010: Start of the Route du Rhum
- Mid-November 2010: Route du Rhum finish
- End November/Mid December 2010: Delivery from Guadeloupe-Barcelona by ship
- 31st December 2010: Start of the Barcelona World Race
- End March 2011: Barcelona World Race finish/ Return of FONCIA to Port-La-Forêt, refit
- Autumn 2011: Delivery and initial test sails of the MOD 70 FONCIA
- November 2011: Pro-Am (MOD 70) – Promotional race gathering together skippers and guests (press and public relations operation, objective of 4 boats).
- May - June 2012: Crewed European Tour (MOD 70 – Objective of 7 boats)
- November 2012: Crewed oceanic race (MOD 70)
- June - July 2013: Crewed European Tour (MOD 70)
- November 2013-April 2014: Crewed Ocean World Tour (MOD 70 - 5 oceans, 8 stages, objective 12 boats).

With nearly 650 offices throughout Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany), the FONCIA Group is the leader in management and property transactions for dwellings in France. FONCIA’s expertise operates across the property market and includes 4 complimentary skills areas: the management of joint ownership, rental management, property rental and sales. FONCIA has also developed an expertise in the sale of rental of business premises, offices and shops, in the management of non-trading property, in consultancy for investors as well as in holiday rental..

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