The 11th edition and 40th-anniversary staging of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race got underway in spectacular style today off the Brittany French port of Saint-Malo on Nov. 4, as a record entry of 123 skippers set sail for Guadeloupe.
Conditions could not have been better for spectators and sailors alike, as the fleet reveled in 20 knots of breeze coming off the land on a beautiful autumn afternoon.
After a very conservative start with no one wanting to be over the line early at the beginning of a 3,542-nautical mile course, the fastest boats quickly opened up the throttle.
At the front of the fleet the ULTIME trimarans, led by Seb Josse on Maxi Solo Edmond de Rothschild, were hitting 30 knots of boat speed.
The fastest racing yachts on the planet were soon flying their windward hulls as they rampaged towards the mandatory gate off Cap Fréhel—17 miles from the start—where thousands of spectators were gathered on the headland.