Route du Rhum 2014 : the video
The tenth edition of the most famous of all the transat races sets off on November 2nd, with the fastest boats arriving in Guadeloupe less than 10 days later. This anniversary edition will see the biggest racing multihulls embark on their crazy gamble, and no less than two sisterships of the winner of the first edition will be on the startline.
The “Ultime” Class is for the enormous boats, where there is no limit, which is what the Route du Rhum pioneers had always wanted. On the startline this year will be Spindrift 2, the largest trimaran in the world, built for a crew of ten experienced sailors (it currently holds the record for the fastest round the world with a crew at 45 days). The skipper, Yann Guichard will have his work cut out to get his 40 meter boat with its 365m² mainsail to the finish line… But since the last edition of the race, Franck Cammas has shown that a big boat (Groupama 3, which became Banque Populaire V) is a winning solution! Banque Populaire V is the current title-holder, but the skipper, Armel Le Cleac’h can't be ready for the race and his replacement Loïck Peyron has only one ambition - to bring the trophy home again. Thomas Colville’s new Sodebo (31 meters) has just been launched following enormous work at the yard. The base for this trimaran was none other than Olivier de Kersauson’s Geronimo, but little of the original still remains. If Thomas has time to develop his new racer, he should be in with a chance of victory. In the “Ultime” Class, there will also be Lionel Lemonchois’ Prince de Bretagne 80, Francis Joyon’s Idec and three MOD 70s specially prepared for the occasion (Musandam Oman Sail, Paper Recyclage and Edmond de Rothschild). So there’s going to be at least six of them jostling for position at the start and aiming to break the current record which dates from 2006 (Lionel Lemonchois in 7 days 17 hours).
There should be 12 Multi 50s at the start. Between professional skippers, and the pure amateurs, this class is endearing, but a good fight is still guaranteed. Up front you’ll see the latest generation of boats, and it’s almost impossible to decide between Actual, Maître Jacques, FenêtréA-Cardinal, Arkema Région Aquitaineand Rennes Métropole/Saint-Malo Agglomération (winner of the last race). But the Rhum is a special race, and behind all these there are quite a few ready to take advantage of the smallest of mistakes made by the favorites… Here at the magazine we are all behind Etienne Hochédé, on his faithful PIR2!
To celebrate the tenth running of this transat, there will be a few nice surprises on the startline, starting with two sisterships of the original winner, Mike Birch’s A Capella Olympus Photo. The battle between Charlie Capelle and Jean-Paul Froc on these two historic boats is going to be superb. And it’s going to be nice to see Patrick Morvan again (remember Jet Services and the North Atlantic record…) who, at the age of 69, is taking part in the Rhum just for fun on a little 40 foot trimaran. Also, Anne Casseneuve, who is taking part for the fifth time, will hold the record for the most number of times entering the race by a woman. Following 5 months in the boatyard, her 52 foot trimaran, Aneo, has just gone back in the water, and the skipper is training hard to win her class in the Rhum… it’s going to be tough!
A little history of the Route du Rhum:
36 years of legends, and still going strong.
1978 Mike Birch on Olympus Photo (a Walter Greene trimaran of 11.50 meters) in 23 days 6 hours 59 minutes and 35 seconds. The first edition of the Rhum, conceived by an advertising man, Michael Etevenon, saw 38 boats take part, of which only a quarter were racing boats. The legend of the Rhum was born that year, with ocean racing being taken over by a bunch of multihulls: after 23 days at sea, Kriter,the big 21 meter monohull, skippered by Michel Malinowski was pipped at the post by Mike Birch, on his A’Capella…by 98 seconds.
1982 Marc Pajot on Elf Aquitaine (Sylvestre Langevin’s 20 meter catamaran) in 18d 01h 38m 00s (after circumnavigating Martinique)
1986 Philippe Poupon on Fleury Michon VIII (a 22.80 meter Irens-designed trimaran) in 14d 15h 57m 15s
1990 Florence Arthaud on Groupe Pierre 1er (an 18.28 meter VPLP trimaran) in 14d 10h -8m 28s. That was, for a while, to be the last of the giants. In fact for 20 years! After this, the size of boats would be limited to 60 feet (18.28 meters).
1994 Laurent Bourgnon on RMO (an 18.28 meter VPLP trimaran) in 14d 06h 28m 29s.
1998 Laurent Bourgnon on Primagaz (an 18.28 meter VPLP trimaran) in 12d 08h 41m 06s.
2002 Michel Desjoyaux (Géant, an 18.2 meter VPLP trimaran in 13d 07h 53m 00s). Eighteen 60 foot multihulls at the startline, and only… three at the finish. It was carnage!
2006 Lionel lemonchois (Gitana 11, an 18.28 meter VPLP trimaran) in 7d 17h 19m 06s.
2010 Franck Cammas (Groupama 3, a 31.50 meter VPLP trimaran) in 9d 03h 14m 47s. The return of the unrestricted giants…