Route du Rhum 2014 Smashes Records

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The Route du Rhum regatta, also known as “Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe” is a transatlantic single-handed yacht race taking place every four years in November.  It is considered to be one of the toughest boat races in the world. The route follows the trajectory of rum (slave) trade: between Saint-Malo, France and Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. This morning, Euronews’s Rémi Pelletier reported on the first arrivals at the finish line at Creole Beach in Le Gosier and the record-breaking results.

“Welcome to Guadeloupe and the finish line of the Route du Rhum. The distance between the buoys is 440 yards (402 metres). All competitors must cross the finish line in front of the Creole Beach in Gosier. Right now, we’ll see who’ll win the IMOCA category.”

Manning ‘Massif’, skipper François Gabart was this year’s victor. We spoke to him following his win.

“The people of Guadeloupe have certainly had the Route du Rhum in their blood for a long time. It’s part of the island’s history and we’re always given a warm welcome”, he said. “It was great to see the island from downwind. The conditions are not always easy, but a lot of boats came to see us. And this was lovely. It means we had the support of many people. And so our arrival at Pointe-à-Pitre was just magical.”

The winners broke all speed records for multihulls and monohulls.

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Second-placed Jérémie Beyou skippered the Maître Coq. He described the total physical commitment needed just to take part in such a competition. “The IMOCAs – the Vendée Globes – are very difficult boats because there are many sails. To advance at the fastest speed possible, you need to change the sails constantly and move all the equipment on board. My body feels broken! I’m hurting everywhere! It’ll be good to get a water massage, then when I feel a bit perkier I’ll do some kite surfing. The wind has picked up and I’m really keen to get out there.” Skipper Marc Guillemot’s Safran took third place, completing the podium.

For full article, see http://www.euronews.com/2014/11/16/records-smashed-on-route-du-rhum-2014/

For more detailed information, see http://www.routedurhum.com/en/s01_home/s01p01_home.php and http://www.ouest-france.fr/route-du-rhum

Photo from http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/bretagne/2014/11/14/un-premier-rhum-gagnant-pour-francois-gabart-vainqueur-pour-les-imoca-592294.html

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