New plan for 2022 Route du Rhum
Published on November 6th, 2022
Saint Malo, France (November 6, 2022) – With today’s start postponed for the 3542 nm Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo race across the Atlantic from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe, due to storm winds and huge seas expected in the English Channel, the race will now commence on November 9 with safer weather for the record 138 boat fleet.
“At that point, the weather should be easier to deal with as there will be a 15 knot westerly wind,” explained Race Director Francis Le Goff. “The situation will be favorable and allow the boats to make their way out of the English Channel. The forecasts seem very reliable with a probability of more than 90%. The start of the race should be much less hazardous than if the start had gone ahead as initially planned.”
Held every four years, the skippers competing in one of the six divisions had been watching the storm for the past week, were able to relax today rather than face the formidable conditions.
For some, the idea of setting off but then returning to Saint-Malo was the plan for Fabrice Payen in the Rhum Multi category. “I had prepared for that. The weather situation would have been disastrous for everyone. We had already decided to come back into Saint-Malo after the start and had planned to set off again on Wednesday when conditions looked easier to deal with.”
IMOCA skipper Isabelle Joschke added, “The postponement changes a lot of things in our heads. The idea of setting off in such violent conditions drained so much of our energy. The pressure suddenly evaporated when the postponement was announced. I was relieved, but it’s not easy transitioning to a different mode. I’m now looking ahead. But it no longer the same Route du Rhum looming over us.”
In the 44 year history of the Route du Rhum, there has never been so many solo skippers planning to start November 6 (now delayed) as in 2022. On this 12th edition, 138 solo racers with compete on the classic race which leaves Saint-Malo, France and heads across the Atlantic to Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Six divisions will compete, beginning with the eight entries in the Ultims and eight in the Ocean Fifty division. Thirty-seven IMOCAs will be there, 55 Class40s as well as 16 in the Rhum Multi (64-feet and less) category and 14 in Rhum Mono (39+ feet) fleets.
Among the competitors, 5% (7) are women across the IMOCA, Class40, and Rhum Mono. Fourteen nationalities will be represented, including Japanese and Chinese skippers. In total, 20% of the participants are from outside France. Half of the French skippers are either residents or natives of Brittany where the race starts from, while there are also 6% Guadeloupeans among the competitors.
Source: OC Sport Pen Duick