With fewer than 150 days to go to the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, which begins on 4th November in Saint-Malo, time is slipping by for the twenty or so IMOCA skippers lining up for this prestigious transatlantic race. So far, nine sailors have already obtained their qualification for the Rhum. The others will be tackling that important matter very shortly. Some will be taking advantage of the Dhream Cup (which starts from La Trinité sur mer in Brittany on 23rd July) to get their entry sorted out. In the coming weeks, we can also look forward to seeing some boats launched, in particular Jérémie Beyou’s Charal, the very first new generation IMOCA.
Nine IMOCA skippers qualified for the Route du Rhum
The Notice of Race for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe makes it very clear that any sailor wishing to compete must complete a 1200-mile solo sail on their boat (whether racing or not). In the IMOCA class, nine skippers have so far obtained their qualification, four of whom did so by completing the Bermuda 1000 Race between Douarnenez (Brittany) and Cascais (Portugal) : Paul Meilhat (SMA), Sam Davies (Initiatives-Cœur), Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Art et Fenêtres) and Manu Cousin (Groupe Setin).
Others sailed the qualifying distance outside of a race - Yann Eliès (Ucar-StMichel), Ari Huusela (Ariel 2), Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil), Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) and more recently, Isabelle Joschke (Monin), who set sail alone from Cadiz on Saturday 16th June and reached the coast of Brittany six days later.
Some sailors are about to set off sailing solo to complete their qualification for the Route du Rhum, while others are looking forward to the Dhream Cup to get that magic ticket…
Twelve skippers competing in the Dhream Cup
After Douarnenez-Cascais and the Monaco Globe Series, the next major sporting event for the IMOCA sailors will be the Dhream Cup, raced between la Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany and Cherbourg (via the Fastnet Rock), which starts on 23rd July. Twelve IMOCAs are registered for this race, which counts as a qualifier for the Route du Rhum. Among them, five have not yet obtained their precious ticket for the Rhum: Alan Roura, Romain Attanasio, Stéphane Le Diraison, Arnaud Boissières and Erik Nigon.
We should add that Alex Thomson will not be competing in the Dhream Cup, but in the coming weeks, he is planning to attempt to smash the North Atlantic record.
Long awaited (re)launches
Some of the most famous IMOCAs are still in the yard, but are due to be put in the water shortly. The launch of Jérémie Beyou’s Charal is imminent. This is one we have all been looking forward to, as she is the first of the new generation of IMOCAs. Everyone will certainly be keeping a close eye on her… As Arnaud Boissières did before them, Vincent Riou and Alan Roura are preparing to relaunch their IMOCAs, which although from a previous generation, have now been boosted with the addition of foils.