interview Thomas Ruyant, 41, has just won the 2022 Route du rhum monohull category with his faithful Imoca LinkedOut. Tired, moved, he still plans on the Vendée Globe 2024 -experienced-such-a-struggle-tells-thomas-ruyant-vainqueur-en-monocoque-cf0dc95.jpg” alt=”Route du rhum : “ I had never experienced such a struggle&rdquo&rdquo ;, says Thomas Ruyant, winner in the monohull” />
Thomas Ruyant, winner of the Route du rhum monohull category, moved when he arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre on Monday morning. — P.Bouras/TR Racing
By his own admission, he cut the finish line in the lead after “going’ at the end” of himself. A year after his victory in the Transat Jacques-Vabre linking Le Havre to; Fort-de-France, Thomas Ruyant went up again up a notch by winning the Route du rhum (Saint-Malo-Pointe-à-Pitre) on Monday in the monohull category with his faithful sailboat Imoca LinkedOut. The Northerner, who lives in Brittany, has completed the event in 11 days, 17 hours and 26 minutes of racing, beating at the same time the record of François Gabart dating from 2014. Interview.
How do you feel the day after this grueling finish?
I still feel a little on the water, under the influence of emotion, the adrenaline does not come down easily! Between the solicitations and the party, I have to; barely took the time to sleep. But that's okay, I'm so happy! These are magical moments, we don’t really want it to stop. particularly disputed and supported…
From the moment the cannon shot, there was an intensity. pretty crazy and over the last three days the level has gotten even higher. When I caught up Charlie [Dalin], I understood that he wouldn’t let go. The commitment was total. I had never experienced such a struggle. We have each been dip deep into our resources to come out on top. Physically, I'm burned out.
“We can easily reach 10 days for this crossing”
Tell us about this fatigue precisely. You say you haven’t slept for more than 36 hours…
It’s been extremely hard. I was lucky not to feel any pain during the run, right after I cut off. the line, when the pressure suddenly drops, I had to lie down. I was paralyzed, I hurt all over! Over the last hours of the race, it was absolutely necessary to hold on, I knew that the lap of Guadeloupe was tricky. But I surprised myself at fall asleep standing up, almost fell over in my cockpit.
Winning the Transat Jacques-Vabre is beautiful, but the Route du rhum is a monument. Çdid what?
That’s pretty crazy… This race is a bit like our Olympic Games. us, every four years, like the Vendée Globe. All my victories have something special, they are part of my story. But it’s true that the Route du rhum has a real place in French sport. There was, in addition, an incredible field this year, many recent boats, never seen before.
Thomas Ruyant to Pointe-à-Pitre as the winner on November 21, 2022. – P.Bouras/TR Racing
Beating the speed record, is it important or anecdotal?
The main thing was to arrive in front of the others. But this record means that the boats have made progress, that the sailors are putting in a lot of commitment, that the weather conditions were good too. I think we can go even faster. One can easily reach 10 days for this crossing. So the record will fall again, that's for sure.
You've just doubled it. Atlantic (Vabre-Rhum). Do you realize?
Ça remains exceptional in a career. I measure performance. But it’s the collective objective, we work for ça all year round. The sailors are the visible side but there is a whole team behind. My greatest pride is to see them all happy at the arrival. We took time to make the boat more reliable, we had some problems. Today we master it, I was able to sail with my feet to the metal in complete confidence. It’s beautiful.
“The Vendée Globe ? Clearly my big goal”
This Imoca sailboat LinkedOut, was it its last race, as planned?< /strong>
Yes. It’s the one I ended up with. my first world tour, with which I wrote beautiful chapters. There is necessarily a twinge in the heart. But there's a new ship coming. Part of the team is already to Lorient preparing it. We'll put it up. the water at the end of February probably. I can't wait. It’s a beautiful machine that we designed together, we hope it’s very efficient.
What is Thomas Ruyant’s program now?
I stay in Guadeloupe for a week. I will try to rest, to surf a little. I will then go home to my children, take a little vacation with them because they haven't seen me much lately. And then, afterwards, we will quickly be in the new season. The next race should be in August the Rolex Fastnet race. Then the Transat Jacques-Vabre 2023, which I will tackle this time with a new machine. I'll be in full focus.
And the Vendée;e Globe 2024 ?
&Cedil;is still my next big goal, clearly. It’s for him that we thought; the new boat. It won’t be faster than today, but easier to handle. take on a world tour. We want to get a big result. Favorite tag? I take it with pleasure, çit suits me.
A passage in multihulls one day, as we already have made several skippers, is it a project?
I am not too much of a multihull school. I find that the Imoca class is the queen class. It’s the one where there is the most adversity, with historical trials. In addition, mono go as fast as multi now. So, no, it’s not on the program for me.
20 minutes of context
Partner of Thomas Ruyant during the Transat Jacques-Vabre 2019, the Vendée Globe 2020 then the Jacques-Vabre 2021, 20 Minutes continues to accompany the skipper in his exploits, as evidenced by his success on the Route du rhum 2022.