The First 24 Hours of the Route du Rhum are complete!

IMG_0412It’s fair to say that the 11th edition and 40th anniversary of the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe got underway in spectacular fashion yesterday afternoon as a record entry of 123 skippers crossed the start line of this 3,542-nautical mile course.

Conditions were perfect for sailors and spectators alike as the fleet enjoyed a stable 20 knot southerly. To say the fleets crossing of the start line was conservative would be an understatement however aware of the penalty attributed (a four hour time penalty to be taken when informed by the Race Committee) this was hardly surprising.

Miranda and Halvard stuck close to one another at the mid to rear of the Class40 fleet but soon started to open the throttle on approach to Cape Fréhel where thousands of spectators lay in wait.

Upon passing Cape Fréhel the next task was to decide how best to approach the very busy and restricted traffic separation system north west of Ushant. Two schools of thought became very clear. One was to pass to the North and the other to the South. It was interesting to see our two sailors opting for different routes with Halvard making significant inroads north while Miranda passed to the South. It the short term it would appear the southernly route paid dividends however with two large depressions due to hit the fleet within hours much of the fleet will cease from pushing the boat at all with several opting for the safety of Lorient.

Onboard Campagne de France and Colombre XL we have two extremely experienced skippers with the upmost respect for their boats. While it’s not going to be fun for them they know what to do.

 

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