Who will win the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

Line honours will go to one of the eight giant Ultimes but there are also victories to be gained in each of the four other classes. Here is a quick evaluation of the favourites at three days before La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.


The weather forecasts seem to promise a lot of fast reaching and downwind sailing and so it is hard to look past the three biggest multihulls, Spindrift 2 (Yann Guichard), Banque Populaire VII (Loïck Peyron) and Sodebo Ultime (Thomas Coville) and to a lesser degreeSport Idec (Francois Joyon) which are all capable of cruising speeds of more than 30kts. But speed and power are not everything, Guichard and Peyron must be able to manage their craft for long periods with no errors. It is most likely that there will be two races within this class not least between the three former MOD70s Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse), Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) and the newest Paprec Recyclage(Yann Elies).


Multi50 – four in the frame
It is the quartet of latest generation boats which seems to have the best chance naturally, fighting over the three podium places. Erwan Le Roux (FenêtréA Cardinal), Yves Le Blévec (Actual), Loic Fequet (Maitre Jacques) are the great adversaries in the Multi50 class. To this this trio, add Lalou Roucayrol a solo specialist (2nd in 2010 in the same category and 3rd 2002 ORMA), aboard a boat designed and built by him, Arkema Aquitaine, the most recent fleet. 

IMOCA Open 60
There are two standouts, Vincent Riou (PRB) and François Gabart (Macif). Both have shown an edge during training and their boats are slightly quicker. Who will win between the two of them is the real question. Gabart showed exceptional consistent speed during his Vendée Globe win and may prevail in his first ever Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, just as he triumphed at his first tilt in the legendary solo race non stop around the world.


Jérémie Beyou (Maitre CoQ) rides a wave of confidence after his third victory in La Solitaire du Figaro-Eric Bompard cachemire and he is renowned for his competitiveness. Marc Guillemot (Safran) brings experience and a very longstanding intimate knowledge of his boat.


Class40: Ten or a dozen of the 43 strong fleet can win
There are at least ten skippers capable of winning, armed with competitive good boats and the fight is very likely to go to the finish line. With 43 starters, the Class40 may be the place for surprises though. But there are clear favourites on paper: Sébastien Rogues (GDF Suez) won everything last season aboard his Mach40 (Manuard design); double winner of La Solitaire, Nicolas Troussel was second on the Route du Rhum in 2010 (Credit Mutuel de Bretagne) and the very experienced Halvard Mabire (Campagne de France) has an exciting brand new Pogo. Kito de Pavant (Otio Bastide-Medical) may be a newcomer to the class but he is a great solo sailor and has trained a lot this summer.


The dark horse is very much Barcelona’s Catalan Alex Pella whose boat, Tales 2, proved very fast in last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre in which he finished second with Pablo Santurde. His is the only Botin design in the fleet but he has not raced in Class 40 since 2013’s Transatlantic to Itajai, Brasil, electing instead to train from Santander. Yannick Bestaven has a very quick new Verdier design (Le Conservateur), but the boat is almost fresh from the builders.


Rhum Class. What a cocktail of designs
Which boat will win into the West Indies: a monohull or a multihull? It would be a dream to see either of the two small original yellow trimarans (Acapella / Charlie Capelle and Berto / Groupe Jean Paul Froc) do well or the two big black cigars (Kriter V of Benjamin Hardouin or Cap a Cap Location of Wilfrid Clerton).


Monohulls? Well, all eyes are on the defending champion, the Italian Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna) who has completely updated his Felci 50 footer to take try and pace the speeds of the 60 footer of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.In the Mulitihulls, Anne Caseneuve her Multi 50 Aneo should win.  

– Race Media


Jeanneau JY55
M.O.S.S Australia
M.O.S.S Australia