Nearly 90 boats, including 11 IMOCAs, will take part in the second edition of the DRHEAM CUP, a race for multiple classes linking La Trinité-sur-Mer to the Cherbourg, via the Fastnet lighthouse
It is a race that stows rather neatly into the event schedule! After a prologue this Saturday 21 July in La Trinité, the whole fleet will set sail on Monday 23 July. It’s the perfect opportunity for the freshly relaunched boats to validate their entry ticket for the Route du Rhum, which is the season’s main event and sets sail from Saint Malo on 4 November 2018. Of the eleven boats participating in the DRHEAM CUP, five are not yet qualified for the Rhum (Stéphane le Diraison’s Boulogne-Billancourt, Alan Roura’s La Fabrique, Arnaud Boissières’ La Mie Câline-Artipôle, Romain Attanasio’s Pure-Famille Mary and Erik Nigon’s Vers un Monde sans Sida).
A generational clash: foilers vs classic daggerboards
Five foilers will be at the start, including two recently modified boats: Arnaud Boissières’ La Mie Câline-Artipôle and Alan Roura’s La Fabrique, which will sail with solely her port foil. Among those boats with classic daggerboards, one of the favourites, Paul Meilhat, has withdrawn due to injury after dislocating his shoulder. Paul and his boat will still be present in La Trinité-sur-Mer, but they won’t take the start of the event. With a course spanning nearly 750 nautical miles, it provides a variety of tactical options on a race zone renowned for its heavy shipping and its strong currents.
In Arnaud Boissières’ opinion, “the conditions expected at the start seem fairly light, but the important thing for me is battling it out with the others. Since the boat was launched with her foils, we’ve already covered 4,000 miles, particularly in the Mediterranean, for a series of partner operations. I’m very happy with the boat, which gets up on her foils and is fairly easy to manoeuvre. She already feels great at the helm and she’s quick. I can’t wait now to be able to get amongst it with the other boats”.
For Sam Davies, clearly a pretender to victory on the Cotentin peninsula, “It’s going to be a very interesting race with a course that is sufficiently long to really vie with the others. This race reminds me of a Solitaire de Figaro leg. I love the format over two-three days. There’s a lot of navigation involved, as well as a series of hazards related to the shipping, the coastline and the other boats, so we’ll certainly have a bit on”.
Great training for the Route du Rhum
Guillaume Evrard, Chief Representative of the IMOCA Class, highlights the appeal of this singlehanded event: “After a double-handed race during the Monaco Globe Series, it’s good to be sailing singlehanded again with a view to the start of the Route du Rhum, destination Guadeloupe. The boats competing in the DRHEAM CUP roughly equate to 50% of the fleet, which will be at the start of the Rhum in a little over three months”. Those who can’t make this meeting have very solid arguments to support their absence, as is the case for Jérémie Beyou, whose new foiler CHARAL hasn’t yet been launched. The German sailor has just won the transatlantic race between Bermuda and Hamburg aboard his IMOCA Malizia. Finally, Alex Thomson and his Hugo Boss left New York yesterday to join their base in Gosport (UK).