Route Du Rhum

November 4th seems like a crazy day to be sailing the Atlantic near northern France, but that is what The Route Du Rhum is. From Saint-Malo, France to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. A transatlantic single-handed race. For the IMOCA 60 class Vendée Globe, the Route Du Rhum serves as the qualification race for new skippers. To compete in the Vendée Globe, you must have completed a single-handed open-ocean race of at least 2500 nautical miles. (The Vendée Globe is around the world, non-stop, alone, with no assistance.)

According to the Wiki, the current record time, set 4 years ago, is 7 days 15 hours 8 minutes and 32 seconds, held by Loick Peyron aboard Banque Populaire VII (an Ultime class trimaran).

The fastest boats will be the Ultime class trimarans. They are about 100 feet in length, and can sail about 800 miles per day.

There are too many skippers in this race for me to keep them straight. There are multiple classes. IMOCA 60, Open 50 ft foiling trimarans, and more. The video is a quick introduction to the IMOCA class skippers. (The subtitles are in English – best I could do. You should make the video full screen if you want to read those subtitles.) When YouTube – and Alphabet – freak out over the privacy extensions in your browser, use that link.

While open ocean sailing is nothing to be taken lightly, I don’t think anyone has been lost on the Route Du Rhum since the 1978 race when Alain Colas, a French sailor on the trimaran Manureva disappeared 16 November 1978.

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