Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Route du Rhum - Extreme Sailing

The route du Rhum is an event organized by Promo voile S.A., a subsidiary of the Pen Duick S.A.S. company with the participation of the City of Saint-Malo for the starting procedures and the Guadeloupe Regional Authority for the arrival phase, along with their sports clubs, in conjunction with the French Ocean Racing Association (the “UNCL”).

Course: 3510 miles

The official race name and the only authorized one is the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale.

The Route du Rhum is a top-level sailing event for solo yachtsmen and takes place every four years.

Its goal is to provide a showcase for sailors and boat owners, the City of Saint-Malo and the Guadeloupe Region, as well as its title partner and the other private partners responsible for financially supporting and promoting the project.


"No rest for the sailor or his machine"

Between Saint-Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre, the shortest route is not always the quickest … Winds and currents represent hurdles that have to be overcome or avoided... Then there are the rivals you have to keep a check on to avoid them getting away from you. Once the ramparts of Saint-Malo have been left behind, the competitors spend their first night in the English Channel before rounding Ushant and its shipping lane. Then there is the Bay of Biscay and usually headwinds and low-pressure areas coming one after another until they reach the Azores, the gateway to the trade winds. Next up in general there is a series of tactical choices to make to get across the high-pressure area with its light winds before picking up speed all the way to Pointe-à-Pitre, as the race record is there to be broken.


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