Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe

2018, the anniversary edition of the 40 years of the event

© ALEXIS COURCOUX
© ALEXIS COURCOUX
© YVAN ZEDDA
© ALEXIS COURCOUX
Start date

11.4.18

Coefficient4
Distance3 542 milles (6 560 km)
Race trackSaint Malo - Pointe à Pitre
Race directorJacques Caraës
OrganizerOC Sport
IMOCA reference timeFrançois Gabart, IMOCA MACIF, 2014, 12j 04h 38min 55s

Presentation

Created in 1978, the Route du Rhum is one of the most popular sporting and maritime events. Renowned across France and with an increasingly wide audience internationally, it’s the reference transatlantic race. Setting sail from Saint Malo in northern France bound for Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe, 'Le Rhum' returns every 4 years and constitutes a major meeting for professional racers, who share the Atlantic with the amateurs who come along to accomplish a lifetime dream.

Before the starting gun fires, a massive crowd flocks to the ramparts of the Corsair City and the cliffs surrounding Saint Malo. In 2018, for the 40thanniversary of the event, nearly two million people came to share in the unique emotions associated with the race. The Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe is organised by OC Sport, whilst Jacques Caraës watches over the sailors at the head of Race Management.

The IMOCA record dates back to the 2014 edition (rather than 2018). It is held by François Gabart in a time of 12 days, 4 hours, 38 minutes and 55 seconds aboard the monohull MACIF.

In November2018, Paul Meilhat (SAM) took the win ahead of Yann Eliès (St-Michel-Virbac) and Briton Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss). The latter had been leading the race for days, but on making landfall at the Tête à l'Anglais (northern tip of Guadeloupe) he fell asleep and his boat hit the reef… There was minimal damage, but the disappointment was immense. Alex had effectively won the race before it escaped his clutches due to him having to turn his engine on to get free of the rocks. On his arrival in Pointe-A-Pitre, the International Jury pinned a 24-hour penalty on him. The Briton was relegated to third place in the overall ranking, nevertheless completing the podium alongside Paul and Yann.