The 9th edition of the Route du Rhum / La Banque Postale has been won by the largest trimaran ever built (31.5 meters). Franck Cammas and Groupama 3 have succeded in winning, in the same year, the Jules Verne Trophy (crewed), passing under the 50 days and the legendary transatlantic solo. “This performance opens a new way about what a man can handle alone in terms of vessel size,” said Vincent Lauriot-Prevost, one of the designers of Groupama 3. Impressed by the feat of Cammas, the naval architect VPLP also savored his sixth consecutive victory since that of Florence Arthaud 1990. Regarding the winning boat of this 9th Route du Rhum, it is again a trimaran, which, for 2010, has really been on a roll. Just once, Elf Aquitaine in 1982, has won on “two legs”.
Sailors of the Year.
In this second feat in one season, Franck Cammas seems already promised under Sailor of the Year Award from the FFV (the French Sailing Federation) in December this year. He would succeed Michel Desjoyeaux, who could not do anything during this race. With a course to the south, the winner of the Vendee Globe was hopelessly left down by those who went North. The direct route paid this year. And at the sprint, no one was able to compete with Roland Jourdain, who won in 2006. The skipper of Veolia Environnement, a Farr 2007, has dominated the Imoca category yet very challenging. He won ahead of Armel Le Cleac’h on Brit Air. By finishing second, the recent winner of the Figaro Transat AG2R is building up his ranking, also nominee as sailor of the year. In Imoca class, it is worth noting that bad luck strucked again Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel). By crossing the line in 8th position, Christopher Pratt (DCNS 1000) has succeeded in rallying the finish line without breaking while fighting with the best. The winner of the Filières du Talent DCNS that NauticNews.com interviewed before departure has proved that he was now a full 60 feet skipper.
Recidivism and break
In the Class 40, Thomas Ruyant (Destination Dunkerque) offers a magnificent win after that on the mini-transat. Leading the group of the Northerners, privileged this year, he was able to counter the thunderous return of Nicolas Troussel (Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne). The Northerner wins with 3:30 hours lead over his first challenger after 18 days of racing, and 7:30 hours on a duo Yvan Noblet (Apart City) and Samuel Manuard (Vector Plus), 3rd and 4th respectively only separated by 4 minutes 30 seconds. In the Multi 50 class, the differences were much larger. The reliability of Prince de Bretagne skipped by Lionel Lemonchois enabled him to win after his victory, 4 years ago, at the general classification. The two main challengers Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Wow) winner of the category in 2006 and Yves Le Blevec (Actual), recent winner of the Vendée St Petersburg were in turn victims of damage. Finally, in the Rhum Class, perseverance also paid. Led from start to finish, Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna) has managed the feat to put his name in the history of one of the most iconic races, for his first transatlantic. Perpetuating the spirit of Rhum, this category has its place in this race that combines speed and pugnacity. Now, as the last competitors continue to arrive, it only remains to wait 4 years to find again the magic of Rhum. Let’s hope that for its 10th edition, the race still holds its share of exploits, adventures and suspense.
More details : Website of La Route du Rhum/La Banque Postale
Photo Credit: AFP