(November 17, 2022; Day 9) – The 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe Ultim 32/23 podium ended yesterday (Wednesday) when Thomas Coville brought the Sodebo Ultim 3 to the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre at 7:52 p.m. UTC (3:42 p.m. local time) 10 hours and fifty minutes after the winner Charles Caudrelier.

The performance extends Coville’s remarkable history with the single-handed transatlantic race. He has now finished on the podium five times in his seven “Rums”. He won in IMOCA in 1998 by replacing Yves Parlier injured before the start in a hang-gliding accident, then finished third in the multihull or Ultim divisions in 2006, 2010 and 2018.

Coville followed Francois Gabart (SVR Lazartigue) across the line seven hours and 34 minutes after second after spending time caught in fishing nets west of the island. Although both Gabart and Coville finished in the same positions as the last edition four years ago, for both it was a very different and better race and, indeed, Coville also improved the course record. of 2018.

Gabart’s elapsed time on his very first race for his new SVR Lazartigue was 6 days, 23 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, 3 hours 15 minutes and 50 seconds behind class winner Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild).

On the dock, Gabart looked relaxed, knowing he had been beaten by the benchmark team that had been optimizing and updating his Ultim since the last race in 2018. is a new boat, whereas last time it was the final race with the old boat,” said Gabart.

“It looks promising for the future. I’m disappointed not to win, but happy to finish second. The boat has progressed since last year. Charles deserved to win. Theirs is the boat and the team. We’re getting closer to Gitana in terms of performance and maybe in the weather we’re better. Congratulations to Charles, a great lone sailor. He has made a lot of progress with Franck Cammas. He was the favorite going into the start and he lived up to that.

Coville added: “It was a fantastic battle, well done Charles and Francois. I think we had the competition we expected between the Ultim boats. Everyone tried something and dared to do their own thing. It took a lot of physical work. I gave everything. In the end, I’m happy to have had a good race, a good Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. Maybe that wasn’t my goal, as I was hoping to win, but battles like this are rare, so I’m happy.

Meanwhile in the Ultim class this afternoon on their final approaches to Guadeloupe, Francis Joyon (IDEC Sport) is fourth and just under 80 miles ahead of Yves Le Blevec (ACTUAL Ultim 3), while crafty veteran Joyon prepares this time to try and contain the boat he rode to victory in the 2018 race.

Joyon, aboard his faithful IDEC SPORT built in 2006, is this time well placed to begin the tour of the island ahead of his rival. The boats were neck and neck at an average speed of 27 knots, but Joyon with his traditional boat parried the attacks of the flying trimaran.

“With Bernard (Stamm) and Christian (Dumard), we focused on two gybes that allowed me to pass to leeward of Actual. We have been fighting with Yves from the start. It would be nice to finish ahead of him. I think I’ve always bypassed Guadeloupe at night.

In the IMOCA class, Charlie Dalin (APIVIA), long-time leader, has 24 miles in hand and bets on a course due south while the tight battle of figaro intensity behind him takes second Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and his rivals nearest to the west.

Ruyant said this morning: “At the moment it is quite calm, but a lot of clouds are appearing later in the day with large squalls. It changes the angle and the speed of the wind and at night you can’t see anything. You need luck to be on your side. There is an overall strategy to get around the high, but you have to deal with these squalls and there are a lot of them. It’s hard to find time to sleep. I have other sail changes to come, as the wind will pick up. Charlie (Dalin) is very fast. Its foils are more powerful than those of the rest of the fleet.

“However, this difference is less noticeable downwind. Everything is very tight with Jérémie (Beyou) close to us, Maxime (Sorel) pressing us now and there is also Paul (Meilhat), Kevin (Escoffier) ​​and Justine (Mettraux). We are in a small group that works hard. We knew from the start that with 38 IMOCAs, it was going to be tight.

Taking part in an incredible first solo IMOCA race, Swiss skipper Justine Mettraux (Teamwork.net) is in great shape with a seventh place. Today she said: “I try to find the right pace and the right course. I lost some ground overnight. At the moment, there is wind and the sea is good. At night, you can’t see anything, so it’s a bit random with the grains. I need time to jibe.

“I’m happy to be in this peloton. Further back, it looks harder. We are now ready to set sail downwind towards Guadeloupe. I’m in a good group and I learn from them. The conditions are nice and it’s hot, so you sweat a lot when doing maneuvers. I know my boat well and I never have any surprises. In twenty knots of wind, I feel like I’m in control.

Mettraux is more than 270 miles ahead of Franco-German Isabelle Joshcke (MACSF) who is eighth. Britain’s Pip Hare (Medallia) remains resolute after tearing her mainsail while passing in front but is 12th after betting on the west, near the rhumb line. New Zealander Conrad Colman (Imagine) is 17th with a solid race on his boat without foils. Seb Marsset (Mon Courtier Energie-Cap Agir Ensemble) is the best dinghy in ninth position, too, as Hare is far west of Colman.

The Hungarian rookie Szabi Weeores had a good race with the young Briton James Harayada (Gentoo Racing) who gradually found his bearings, went fast and enjoyed sailing under the sun for the first time with the “big boat”. Szabi is 20th and Harayda 21st.

Harayda, 24, enthused: “We’re a bit on the edge at the moment, we’re moving fast in the right direction. That’s a good sign on any yacht race. It feels good to move quickly. I kinda feel like I deserve it. The first week was tricky. This is my longest stay at sea alone.

“I didn’t think I would have this feeling because I’m usually a pretty relaxed and calm person, but when you’re here and you hear about boats having incidents, it’s like I feel a bit lonely. here. It’s not a feeling of loneliness, but you feel isolated, not in a bad way, but I haven’t really felt that before.

The Chinese ‘Jackie’, Jingkun Xu is also making progress in his very first IMOCA race. He was delighted today to get photos from Fabrice Amedeo, of a painting in the Azores that the skipper of Qingdao had made at the end of his round the world trip two years ago. Amedeo had to abandon his IMOCA when it caught fire and sank earlier in the race. Rescued by a freighter, he was dropped in the Azores

Jackie wrote today: “Today seems to be my lucky day. I received a wonderful gift from Breton children, they sent me a wonderful video full of blessings in French and Chinese, so adorable, and at the same time I received a lot of wonderful blessings from different country, even an 80-year-old poet writes poems for me, so touching. And so the door of the trade winds is almost open in front of me, the temperature is rising and it seems that the Caribbean sun is already arriving.

In Class 40, the leader and title holder Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe Yoann Richomme (Paprec-Arkema) doubled his lead over second-placed Corentin Douguet (Quéguiner Innoveo) to more than 40 miles. The Swiss rider Simon Koster (Banque de Leman) in fourth position is less than two miles from the Italian Ambrogio Beccharia (Allagrande-Pirelli) who is fifth.

Asked if he would be happy to finish in the 12th position he currently occupies, American solo rider Alex Mehran (Polka Dot) laughed: “I would be happy to finish 55th, I never imagined to be in the top half of this race. I appreciate it and if there’s a result in that, anything better than 55th, I’ll be happy. I have a family and a job at home and I haven’t been able to sail that much so I didn’t have a lot of expectations, really not.

Attention, the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe association is in mourning, after reporting yesterday the tragic death of two people on board a spectator boat which capsized while the first boat was completing the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe in the Bay of La Pointe in Guadeloupe. -in Pitre.

Abandoned :
• Skippers who retired: Sam Goodchild (Leyton – Ocean Fifty) after being injured during the pre-start phase, Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One – IMOCA) following a collision off Cap Fréhel, Oren Nataf ( Rayon Vert – Rhum Multi) with a torn mainsail, Antoine Magré (E.Leclerc Ville-La-Grand – Class40) after hitting the rocks off the island of Batz, Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil – IMOCA), Victor Jost (Caisses Réunionnaises Complémentaires – Class 40), Martin Louchart (Randstad-Ausy – Class40), Geoffrey Matacyznski (Fortissimo – Class 40), Laurent Camprubi (Glaces Romane – Class40), Thibaut Vauchel-camus (Solidaires En Peloton – ARSEP – Ocean Fifty), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée – IMOCA), Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans – Art & Windows – IMOCA) after a fire broke out on board his Imoca, Amelie Grassi (La Boulangere Bio – Class40), François Jambou , (Blind – Trim Control – Class40) after dismasting, Aurélien Ducroz (Crosscall – Class40), Jean- Pierre Balmes (FullSave – Class40) due to p problems with his ballast and staysail hook, Brieuc Maisonneuve (CMA Ide-de-France 60,000 Rebonds – Rhum Multi), Ivica Kostelic (ACI – Class40) following technical problems, including the loss of his helm, Sacha Daunar (Bateau Cit’hotel – Guadeloupe Region – Class40), Erwan Thiboumery (Interaction – Rhum Multi)


In the 44-year history of the Route du Rhum, never have there been so many solo skippers planning a start on November 6 (now postponed) than in 2022. In this 12th edition, 138 solo sailors compete on the classic race that starts in Saint-Malo, France and crosses the Atlantic to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Six divisions will compete, starting with the eight entered in the Ultims and the eight in the Ocean Fifty division. Thirty-seven IMOCAs will be present, 55 Class40s as well as 16 in Rhum Multi (64 feet and less) and 14 in Rhum Mono (39 feet and more).

Among the competitors, 5% (7) are women across all IMOCA, Class40 and Rhum Mono. Fourteen nationalities will be represented, including Japanese and Chinese skippers. In total, 20% of the participants are foreigners. Half of the French skippers are either residents or natives of Brittany where the race starts, while there are also 6% of Guadeloupeans among the competitors.

Source: OC Sport Pen Duick