Closing time for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe
A memorable 11th edition of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, the solo transatlantic race from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe, which takes place every four years, concluded on Friday December 7th at 1300hrs UTC when the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre was officially closed.
The 3,542-nautical mile course from northern Brittany, France to the French Caribbean island was completed by 79 of the 123 solo skippers who started on Sunday November 4th. When the line closed, only two skippers were still on the course and did not finish within the time limit.
The classic singlehanded race, which has run every fourth year since 1978, celebrated its 40th year with this edition, attracting a record sized fleet racing in six different divisions.
Fittingly this landmark 40th anniversary edition will be remembered for its incredible intensity during the first few days of gales on the Bay of Biscay and a remarkably close finish between wily, experienced 62-year old Francis Joyon (IDEC Sport) and France’s most outstanding ocean racer of the modern generation 35-year old François Gabart (MACIF), Joyon taking overall line honors in the final minutes of the race.
And it will be remembered for the dramatic finish to the IMOCA division race, with long time leader Alex Thomson grounding his black Hugo Boss yacht on cliffs on the north of Guadeloupe. Because he had to use his engine to get his IMOCA sixty footer off the rocks, Thomson was . . .
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