Mega challenge for Rhum
BIGGEST EVER FLEET OF FOILING MULTIHULLS TO BATTLE IT OUT
A record-breaking fleet of 123 entries are ready to start this year’s Route du Rhum, the 3,542-mile transatlantic from St Malo to Guadeloupe, including the largest ever fleet of giant foiling multihulls.
It is the first time the latest generation ‘Ultimes’ have lined up against one another. There are six big Ultime multihulls entered, and all eyes will be on François Gabart’s
Armel Le Cléac’h’s and Sébastien Josse’s Maxi
which have all been either newly launched or turbo-charged.
The Ultimes are capable of covering over 800 miles in 24 hours, and will be squarely gunning for the current 7d 15h course record set four years ago by Loïck Peyron on
With the race result likely to be decided in a handful of days, this year’s Route du Rhum presents a real psychological challenge for these skippers. To race the maxi trimarans, Gabart said you need “the soul of a daredevil”.
“[You have to] go for it 100%, without restraint. You have to be aware of the risks but not be hesitant,” he comments.
Séb Josse, whose was launched just over a year ago, also commented on the mental challenge. “You have to feel comfortable on the boat. Know not to stress when flying along at 40 knots. Psychology is very important in multihulls. Because it’s still a dangerous thing.”
The highly experienced Francis Joyon, whose is unlikely to be among the frontrunners, had a word of caution.
“You have to work with the rhythm of the boat. It will tell you when you can sleep and in general the boat will also tell you when you cannot,” he explained. “On my last Route du