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Wisper heads for the Route du Rhum

 

138 boats are expected on the starting line of the Route du Rhum, on November 6, 2022. Get ready, Wisper will embark on this mythical adventure alongside Maxime Cauwe and his class40. For the occasion, we have prepared for you some anecdotes about this unmissable event for sailing enthusiasts.

A Rum Story

Since its first edition, the Queen of the Transatlantic was already named after this famous beverage. To understand this choice, we must go back a few years. In the 70's, the West Indies Rum Sugar Producers Union was looking for an innovative way to promote their beverage. It is during an exchange between the members that the idea of the century appears: a sailing race to the West Indies. Afterwards, several interlocutors take part in the exchanges. But it is indeed the meeting with Michel Etevenon, Parisian publicist, who will be decisive and make this project possible.

 

A wind of freedom

In the 70's, our British neighbors dominated the world of yacht racing with their famous Transat. Everything changed when they decided to limit the maximum size of the boats. It was then that a group of Frenchmen had the idea of creating "Transat de la liberté" : the first French transatlantic race, with no size limit for the boats, open to amateurs and professionals. The Rhum Route was born in 1978, with a course of 3,542 miles (6,560 km) from Saint-Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre. 

 

A legendary finale

A neck-and-neck duel marked the first edition of the Route du Rhum in 1978. After more than 23 days of hard racing, Michel Malinovski arrived first off Guadeloupe. On board his 21-meter monohull, all he had to do was sail around the island. To everyone's surprise, Mike Birch overtook him on the final stretch and cross the finish line 98 seconds before Michel Malinovski.

 

Chainsaw Massacre

The 4th edition of the Route du Rhum did not make only happy, with a limitation of the size of the boats to 60 feet. It is a blow for some participants, who are forced to abandon or to race out of the ranking. The Skipper Francis Joyon did not let this regulation get him down. A few days before the start, he decided to arm himself with a chainsaw and reduce the size of his hull to fit the new standards of the organization.

 

A journey time... divided by 3 !

With each edition, a new record is set. In 1978, Mike Birch reached Guadeloupe in 23 days, 6 jours and 59 minutes This may seem like a long time, since in 2018 Francis Joyon reached the finish line in 7 days, 14 hous and 21 minutes. This huge gap is due to the new categories to enter the race as well as technical innovations.

2022, a record-breaking year

The Route du Rhum 2022 has the wind in its sails and is breaking participation records. This year, 138 boats are expected to depart from Saint-Malo:

 8 ULTIM: : multihulls over 30 meters in length
 8 OCEAN FIFTY: multihulls of 15 meters in length
 37 IMOCA : Vendée Globe monohulls of 18 meters in length
 55 CLASS40 : monohulls of 12 meters in length
 16 RHUM MULTI : multicoques de 19 mètres de long
 14 RHUM MONO : monohulls of 12 meters in length

À titre comparatif, 38 solitaires s’élançaient lors de la première édition de La Route Du Rhum en 1978.

Pour suivre la Route Du Rhum ainsi que les aventures de Wisper, restez connectés ! #Onestlarge

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