SAILING Trapped four years earlier by François Joyon in the final towards Pointe-à-Pitre, François Gabart can still aim for the opposite scenario to get ahead of Charles Caudrelier , Wednesday morning, as the final around Guadeloupe is “random”
At the end of the suspense, Francis Joyon (right) finally got the better of Francois Gabart (left) during the 2018 edition of the Route du Rhum. The dazzling symbol of the importance of properly managing the delicate circumnavigation of Guadeloupe. — LOIC VENANCE/AFP
- The winner of the Route du Rhum 2022 should be known on Wednesday morning. This Tuesday afternoon, Charles Caudrelier is 63 miles ahead of François Gabart, after six days of racing, 367 miles from the finish.
- This long-awaited final with the tour of Guadeloupe, can still upset the hierarchy at the head of the race, as was the case in 1978 and in 2018.
- The skippers therefore systematically prepare carefully, upstream, this final in the direction of Pointe-à-Pitre, as it generates suspense.
More than 23 days of sailing to win the first edition of a prestigious race with only 98 seconds ahead of his runner-up. The duel between the Canadian Michael Birch and the Frenchman Michel Malinovsky could not better have made the Route du Rhum a legend in the sailing world, from its beginnings in 1978. This incredible thriller clearly launched the magic of the arrival of this event at Pointe-à-Pitre, after a tour of the island of Guadeloupe. “Guadeloupians are very happy to experience such a race so closely. But for navigators, it’s a different story,” smiles Victor Jean-Noël.
A former navigator living in Guadeloupe, he is impatiently awaiting (by Wednesday morning, metropolitan time) the arrival of Charles Caudrelier and François Gabart, who has 63 miles this Tuesday afternoon. late (367 miles from the finish), after six days of testing. This winner of two Transats des Alizés (1984 and 1997), who had to abandon on démastage during his only participation in; the Route du Rhum (1998), is dithyrambic on this final of approximately 60 miles until’ Pointe-à-Pitre: “This arrival by bypassing the island gives an extraordinary spice to the island. the race. It’s even been the essence of the Route du Rhum since forever”.
[LE MAG DU RHUM #21 🎬]
— Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe (@RouteDuRhum) November 15, 2022
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The podium snatched; by Franck Cammas in 1998
With in particular a passage from Bouillante to àgrave; Basse-Terre, which has not finished stressing the skippers in the coming hours. “This is a critical area because the wind can sometimes come down from the high mountains, with surprising gusts, or on the contrary be very weak, warns our region of l’é type. For this edition, it will be different because there will really be a trade wind; solid.” The uncertainties of certain editions have thus earned notable reversals of the situation, such as when Franck Cammas swiped; the third place to; Marc Guillemot in 1998 thanks to; a perfect ending to; Basse-Terre (less than 8 minutes difference in the end, after almost 13 days of adventure).
But the other, even crazier epilogue took place in 2018, when François Joyon his delay to overtake François Gabart in extremis and win the previous Route du Rhum, with a 7-minute lead. A “ remontada” unforgettable, almost similar to the one that took place 40 years earlier, which pushes navigators to study long before their final in Guadeloupe. “Armel Le Cléac’h, for example, sometimes comes to the island, and many sailors have solid contacts in Guadeloupe, in order to best prepare for their arrival in Guadeloupe. Pointe-à-Pitre, pursues Victor Jean-Noël. They know that çit can be played there, it’s very tactical”.
Beaten by nothing by Francis Joyon in Guadeloupe four years ago, Francois Gabart will try to take his revenge in the next hours on the Route du Rhum. – LOIC VENANCE/AFP
Thomson’s accident, asleep for the finish
He himself notably advised Michel Desjoyeaux before his various participations in; the Route du Rhum. The only time he won, in 2002, “the organization had decided to to simplify the race”, by avoiding the famous 60 miles around the island, as in the second edition, in 1982. 4th in 2006 and 10th in 2010 on classic versions of the event, Michel Desjoyeaux evokes “the psychological aspect” crossing Guadeloupe.
The swirling winds are almost unpredictable and we find ourselves at handle large surfaces of sails. There’s nothing to worry about here. have on a personal level, but on the risks of seeing the classification be modified. There, with approximately more than 2 hours of gap between the first two, it would be very surprising that such a gap is closed. But be careful, the brain can sometimes tell itself too quickly that it’s the end. There can be a rush of adrenaline and a warped alertness, as we saw with Alex Thomson.”
Four years ago, the Welsh skipper, asleep at its arrival on the outskirts of Guadeloupe, had indeed hit the cliff and lost the Imoca race, when victory was clearly promised to him. Boat captain of Thomas Ruyant, current 2nd in Imoca, Ronan Deshayes details the strategy of the LinkedOut sailboat: “ is a very important tactical point. We worked different navigation patterns depending on whether you arrive day or night. It’s more comfortable to arrive at night as you can switch to proximity from the coast, with a wind that falls from the reliefs. During the day, it’s more dangerous to do the same because it can be an area without wind. It is therefore better to move further away, before being forced to to get closer to the coast at the Basse-Terre buoy”.
“ You can quickly lose several hours ”
Just after, at the Canal des Saintes, “the wind can shake very hard, so you can get out of a windless area and suddenly experience acceleration, especially for multihulls” , continues Ronan Deshayes. If the Ultims (the maxi-multihulls) will be entitled to telephone exchanges coming from land to warn them of the exact wind conditions, this is prohibited for the category of Imoca (monohulls), which relies more on a duration of 10 hours than 6:30 to reach Pointe-à-Pitre. Finally, are we sure we won’t experience the same suspense as in 2018 for the final victory?
“The history of the Route du Rhum has shown that the that the race could be done and undone thanks to; this arrival which makes the test random, believes Ronan Deshayes. The accumulation of fatigue can cause clumsiness and a lack of lucidity. So no, having a sixty mile lead tonight does not guarantee victory. You can quickly lose several hours in Guadeloupe.” François Gabart can therefore still believe in his revenge.