A smooth and emotional start yesterday in Fort-de-France to kick off the first edition of the Retour à La Base race, bound for Lorient Agglomération. Enjoy the show here

It is Go Time!. The 3,500 miles Retour à La Base race from Martinique to Lorient starts midday local time. The skippers were generally relaxed as they arrived at the race dock in Fort-de-France early and made their final preparations.

With only a few friends and families around, and core technical team around it made for a much more serene send off than at home in France, not least knowing that the first few days will be a relatively straightforward climb northwards in the tradewinds.

For very many of the skippers who are going solo on their boats for the first time – like Sam Goodchild, Yoann Richomme, Nico Lunven, even Transat Jacques Vabre winner Thomas Ruyant – this is a perfect warm up before they hook into the eastbound low pressure train. Then the question is very much where to set the limits.
The only stress on the dock has been for Pip Hare’s team on Medallia who are dealing with a last minute GPS problem….

Images Retour à La Base I IMOCA