Garmin Outfits Charal Racing Team for Around-the-world Racing

Jérémie Beyou is on a mission. The skipper of the Charal Sailing Team’s new boat, Charal 2, is vying to compete in the Vendée Globe ocean race in 2024.

This is his fifth effort at the race called “The Everest of the Sea.” He’s finished two and podiumed once in third. But that’s not enough. “The goal is to win the Vendee Globe,” Jérémie says. “I won’t stop until I win it.”

And he’s relying on Garmin to help make that dream come true.

Single-handed Racing

“It’s four years between Vendée Globes, so even if it’s hard, you have the time to forget the one before,” Jérémie says. And the race is hard. Vendée Globe sailors race solo, nonstop and without assistance around the world from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. The current record is fewer than 75 days.

“You realize you are very far from anywhere when you reach first to the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific,” he says. “When you’re at Nemo Point, and you look at the chart, it’s something quite strange.”

The boats are purpose-built for the challenge. With a large sail area, the 60’ International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) boats are the most powerful monohulls on the planet led by a solo skipper, according to race organizers — often reaching speeds of 30 knots downwind. And since 2016, the high-tech boats have added foils — outriggers that lift the hull in upwind conditions to save drag and offer better performance.

A Life of Racing

They’re machines made for sailors who have dedicated their lives to racing. “It started quite early,” Jérémie says. “First with my mom and dad, just cruising in the summer in the little family boat — something which I really enjoyed. I was in my universe being on a boat, being on the sea.”

He sailed dinghies as a child, moved on to bigger boats, then to crewing ocean races — even winning the Ocean Race. Nowadays, Jérémie brings more than 20 years of professional offshore racing to the challenge, and he’s skippered the IMOCA 60 Charal team boat since 2018. As the team sets its sights on the 2024 edition, it launched Charal 2 in time for a shakedown and Vendée Globe-qualifying run last November in the Route du Rhum race across the Atlantic.

“We thought that we needed a new boat — maybe more adapted to the [Vendée Globe] course,” Jérémie says. “There are plenty of ideas inside the boat to make it quicker, to make it more reliable, too, and easier to sail alone. So, it’s quite a lot of technologies on board to make me win the Vendée Globe.”

And the new boat is fast, covering a record number of miles in 24 hours (558 miles) — averaging 23.7 knots and maxing out at 38 knots — ultimately leading to a third place podium finish for Jérémie.

Equipped by Garmin

The team has relied on Garmin for several years, and the Charal 2 is no exception. “It’s all Garmin on board,” he says. “We have everything you can imagine in a cruising boat installed inside Charal.”

The helm is built around a GPSMAP® chartplotter and includes GNX wind instrument displays and a Garmin VHF radio. Jérémie also wears a quatix® 7 watch — on land to track his physical preparation, and at sea to stay connected to the boat environment. That offers peace of mind on long, lonely stretches of races. “Being far from land and being really alone is something that you always have in mind, even after two days of racing,” he says. “[But] being in the middle of the Atlantic and being in the middle of the Pacific is not the same.”

Still, he says, it’s not something new, and he’s backed by his team and Garmin. “I don’t worry about it.”