the start of the race was postponed to “Tuesday or Wednesday” due to weather conditions

Spectators and skippers will have to wait a little longer. The organizers of the Route du rhum announced on Saturday November 5 that the start of the famous race has been postponed to “Tuesday or Wednesday” because of the weather. This is the first in the history of the event. The beginning of 12e edition of the Route du rhum, a single transatlantic race, will be given on Sunday in Saint-Malo to Guadeloupe.

“A decision that was confirmed in particular by the passage of a very violent depression, accompanied by a very strong sea that blocked the route from the first night and left no escape for the sailors who left the Channel”explained the organization in a press release.

The announcement was made after a weather briefing was given to the 138 sailors taking part in this prestigious race, which has taken place every four years since 1978. “This is a good decision that aims to optimize the security of the fleet and the best possible conditions for the success of the sporting event, for the sailors and the general public”said the organizers.

For several days, concern was rising on the pontoons of Saint-Malo among the sailors involved – both novices and professionals – because of the announcement of bad weather conditions for the race.

Race management justifies this decision by “a very strong wave raised by tropical storm Martin”. “Seven meters of hollow are expected in the Channel from Monday. It is particularly the timing of the passage of this phenomenon that makes the situation more complicated, leaving no alternative route to escape south safely., was further explained in the press release. Race management has not yet announced the exact date and time of the start, but that has been promised “It’s going to be a good fight” when the cannon finally sounded.

A decision that pleased the runners

As for the skippers, the postponement of the race was well received. “I think it is a good decision that is not easy to make. This is wise and reasonable given the particularly violent conditions ahead.”reaction of François Gabart (SVR-Lazartigue) leaving aboard an Ultim, a 32-meter long maxi-trimaran. “The fastest boats may have avoided the storm by heading for Ireland, but not all of them. And there was not necessarily room for 138 boats to shelter in the surrounding harbours.”he estimated.

The Route du rhum fleet consists of six categories of sailboats: from the small monohulls that participated in the first edition to the latest generation flying multihulls. Some are more fragile than others and less suitable for navigation during storms. “The weather conditions were exceptional, so it was a wise decision”reaction of Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). “It’s fine. We know we’re going to war, but it’s our Olympics, so we’re going anyway (…) and it can be dangerous”said Charles Caudrelier (Edmond de Rothschild).

“I feel relieved as a runner. We could lose boats and human lives. The problem is there is no real escape to avoid bad weather”reacted to Agence France-Presse, Erwan Le Roux (Koesio), skipper and president of the Ocean Fifty class, light trimarans that are 15 meters long.

The event village, which has welcomed several hundred thousand visitors since it opened on October 25, is likely to close its doors on Sunday at the end of the day. Also as a result of this postponement, Emmanuel Macron, who will attend the beginning of the water on Sunday, will go earlier to the twenty-seventh UN climate conference, COP27, in Egypt.

Also read: Route du rhum 2022: “Maxi Edmond de Rothschild”, a sea monster optimized for performance

The World with AFP

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