K-Challenge x Lorient Agglomération excellence in the service of transitions

K-Challenge x Lorient Agglomération excellence in the service of transitions
K-Challenge x Lorient Agglomération excellence in the service of transitions

Lorient Agglomération, which has very clear objectives in terms of training for future generations, decarbonization, soft mobility, today becomes a partner of K-Challenge. It is the first sport-tech which brings together the best French sportsmen, engineers, technicians and experts with the ultimate objective of winning the biggest international sailing competitions, including the oldest sporting trophy in the world: the America’s Cup. The teams are committed to the 37th edition which will be played in Barcelona from August 21, 2024. Its subsidiary K-Challenge LAB aims to develop mobility decarbonization technologies.

This partnership between the two entities concerns :

  • the support, from 2024, of the three French teamsOrient Express Racing Team, entered in the 37th edition of the America’s Cup,
  • welcoming K-Challenge teams from the start of 2025, in the heart of the PERISTYLE eco-district in Lorient both on the “SPORT” part and on the “LAB” part with technological projects serving territorial development and transitions – energy, digital and ecological.

Support the elite of crewed sailing and inspire and support future generations

By becoming Official Supplier of the Orient Express Racing Team, Lorient Agglomération will join renowned French companies – the Accor group, L’Oréal Groupe, Alpine, Photomaton MeGroup, the SAUR group, K-Way – which support the three French Teams entered in the 37th America’s Cup, the elite of crewed sailing on foil boats :

  • the Challengerworn by the Morbihan native Quentin Delapierre, who will try to bring back to France the oldest sporting trophy in the world,
  • the youth team with Enzo Balanger at the helm and the women’s team, skippered by Manon Audinet. Selected, trained and trained as part of the Excellence sectors of the Team France Association, they will be keen to shine, respectively, in the third edition of the Youth and in the inaugural edition of the Women’s America’s Cup.

With this in mind, Lorient Agglomération intends to support K-Challenge from 2024.

Lorient is an essential place in the world of sailing in France. Very anchored in offshore racing by the teams installed on its soil and the events it supports, Lorient Agglomération shows its desire to support elite crewed sailing, by committing to our side for this edition of the America’s Cup .

explain Stephan Kandler, Founder of K-Challenge and Co-General Manager with Bruno Dubois of the Orient Express Racing Team.

This partnership, which is intended to be long-term, will allow K-Challenge to set up, in anticipation of the next America’s Cup, on the Quai du Péristyle in Lorient and to calmly set up sports teams.

Lorient Agglomération by welcoming us to the heart of the Péristyle district, allows us to approach the post-2024 period with perspectives; this is very important for us who want to keep part of our team and be able to very quickly get back to work and training on our boats, within a complete and autonomous ad hoc base, identical to the one we have currently in Barcelona.

Behind the elite already in place, the shared wish of Lorient Agglomération and K-Challenge is to participate in the training of following generations in the heart of a real campus adapted in terms of infrastructure and supervision.

It is in K-Challenge’s DNA to trust the younger generation and women. If we want the pool of high-performance French sailors, technicians and engineers to remain significant, if we want to achieve a natural diversity in the world of sailing and sport in general, this requires training. and support. This support from Lorient Agglomération, at this stage, is a true founding act. A strong commitment which will allow us to continue, with the Team France Lines of Excellence, the work of detection and training carried out for this edition of the America’s Cup, whether in terms of sailors but also the training of young supervisors. , data analysts and other related professions

continues Stephan Kandler.

For Fabrice Loher, President of Lorient Agglomération and Mayor of Lorient,

It was here at the Péristyle that it all began. Our city was born there and has always been able to reinvent itself, particularly through materials. This is a historic opportunity that presents itself to us. Welcoming the Orient Express Racing Team to our territory goes well beyond participating in the pride of supporting very high-level athletes, particularly for the first time, a Women’s team. K-challenge teams are mainly made up of engineers whose missions greatly fuel progress in ecological, digital and energy transitions. It is this know-how and future developments linked to the human wealth of our territory around training and research which will contribute to the decarbonization of mobility.

Excellence in the service of transitions

With this long-term project, Lorient Agglomération wishes to strengthen the nautical ecosystem and attract, within this new maritime center located at PERISTYLE, complementary to what already exists in Lorient La Base, high-tech companies serving development. of the territory and transitions – energy, digital and ecological. The first of these would be K-Challenge Lab which is working, in particular, on a high-speed hydrogen foil boat project for commercial ships.

Stephan Kandler :

Competition, competition, pushes us to surpass ourselves, to be creative. Since its inception, the America’s Cup has been an important technological incubator and the competition that most rhymes with innovation.
Our team has developed a simulator which is both a means of training sailors but also a means of virtually testing innovations in order to implement them, without risk, on our boats. Digital at the service of excellence.
Furthermore, the 2024 edition of the Cup requires teams to have as the only assistance, authorized in the race zone, a high-speed hydrogen foil boat (HSV).
A real technological challenge in which K-Challenge Lab is participating, alongside a European consortium. With our college of French experts in maritime mobility and sailing competitions, K-Challenge Lab is ready to go even further in terms of the ecological transition of mobility in order to develop a version 2 which will be dedicated to commercial markets for coastal motorboats less than 30 meters. It will be presented in 2025 during the United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC).

Fabrice Loher :

The feats linked to digital technologies of these flying boats are inspiring and it is in Lorient that all this will continue to develop. Today we already have concrete applications of technologies from ocean racing. I am thinking in particular of the high masts (66m) which will be intended for the sail propulsion of commercial ships and Orient liners.
Express from the Accor group.- These masts will be produced in the brand new factory being built today at Rohu (in Lanester). There is no doubt that the skippers, the adventurers, who left this Sunday for The Transat CIC bound for New York will still have learned a lot about this race and will fuel the Lorient Composite Valley.
We are therefore delighted today to see K-Challenge’s interest in ensuring their development in our territory. I strongly believe in the rise of digital technologies which will enable colossal time savings in this race to decarbonization that we have embarked on. The boats competing in the America’s Cup are flying and being able to show them to local residents, starting with schoolchildren, is unique. We can be proud of the deployment of these sectors of excellence in the service of transitions. The women and men who carry this have a great responsibility, as President of Lorient Agglomération, it is my responsibility to be very active on these subjects which are both structuring and exciting.

Lorient agglomeration: one of the most attractive areas in France

Lorient Agglomération, Brittany’s 3rd largest cluster, confirms its attractiveness with +157% in business creations between 2017 and 2022 and an average of around a thousand jobs created each year since 2015. According to the Cadran ranking (tool for measuring the residential, tourist and economic attractiveness of territories), Lorient agglomeration ranks in the 10% of the most attractive territories. It is even the 2nd maritime territory in Brittany, the 2nd most innovative territory in Brittany (in supported projects), the 1st innovation center in composite materials and health, the 4th industrial center in Brittany and the 1st center of offshore racing.

Maritime excellence is today embodied by the first offshore racing center which welcomes the best teams in the world and has developed a very innovative sector around composites. This technology is now of interest to maritime transport for the manufacture of giant masts which will equip cargo ships in order to integrate less polluting sail propulsion.

A study* carried out by Audélor, (the Agency for town planning, economic development and technopole of the Pays de Lorient) on the economic benefits of the ecosystem of Lorient La Base confirms the strong growth of the offshore racing sector with a 3-fold increase in jobs and economic benefits in 10 years. The study also notes that the annual local economic benefits have been multiplied by three in ten years and amount to 35 million (excluding boat construction). If we add local boat construction, these economic benefits are even greater: 7 to 12 million depending on the year (masts, foils, hulls, etc.).

* www.audelor.com/actualite/info/retombees-economiques-course-au-large-lorient-agglomeration



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