(November 17, 2022; day 9) – Growing up in Brittany with posters on his wall of the winners of the legendary single transatlantic race, a dream that French skipper Charles Caudriller had carried since he was a young man came true yesterday, when the 48-year-old crossed the finish line of the second edition Ten Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe first into the wee hours of the morning.
Caudrelier brought an immaculately prepared and executed race to a victorious end when De Rothschild’s Gitana Racing’s Ultim 32/23 Maxi Edmond de Rothschild sailed across the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 05:02:05 local time (09:02:00 local time). 05 UTC).
After setting out from Saint-Malo at the head of a record-sized fleet of 138 boats in six classes last Wednesday, Caudriller and Maxi-Edmond de Rothschild completed the 3,542 nautical-mile course in a new record time of 6 days, 19 hours, 47 minutes and 25 seconds, better than The 7 day 14 hour 21 mark set by Francis Guyon in 2018 is 18 hours 34 minutes 22 seconds.
Armed with what is universally considered to be the rarefied world’s standard of giant 32-meter Ultim 32/23 multi-hull jets, Caudrelier added to the boat’s impressive winning record, which includes last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre. to Martinique which he won this time last year with his longtime close friend, mentor and co-captain Franck Camas.
Backed by a dream team of 24-hour beach weather steers — consisting of Cammas and American Stan Honey as well as Gitana Multi’s regular navigator Erwan Israel and former Figaro and IMOCA racer Morgan Lagraviere — Caudrelier described himself as “just the driver, as he is.” It’s in the auto racing team.” He was only momentarily passed, in the Azores, by his closest rival François Gabart on the SVR Lazartigue but responded by passing quickly to the north through the group of islands, opening his lead to over 110 miles and was never overtaken again.
Early yesterday morning, in the bright Caribbean at the Victory Pier, Caudriller said, “This is a race that means a lot to me. Three years ago, when I was told I was going to run as captain, I was thrilled. Winning the Rhum aboard several hulls is a moment Brilliant for the seas. Images of Laurent Bourgnon and the Route du Rhum have always inspired me, much more than the Vendée Globe.”
He expanded, “It was like this battle with the boat at first because of the weather and the size of these boats. Then the battle with François Gabart, where he sailed really well. I managed to eat well and find the right rhythm, but at first I had cramps in my arms and a real turmoil stomach or sensitivity.
“With these boats, it’s a sprint, not a long race. I didn’t have to bring out the toolbox. The boat was well prepared. I’m just the Sunday driver. And I associate that victory with Frank. Without him, we wouldn’t have this win. We share that win together.”
He experienced some nervous moments, as Route du Rhum-Destination Guadleoupe leaders usually do when winding through a breeze of light capricious in the dark hours on the volcanic mountain lee of Basse Terre. After finishing second in a slow-moving final sprint with Guyon in 2018, Gabart couldn’t catch Caudrelier yesterday morning. Even though he did the 90-mile under 30, he was still 3 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds behind Caudrelier.
Caudrelier won La Solitaire du Figaro in 2004 a victory he still today describes as his most valuable pure solo success, saying at the time, “Maybe I’m finally becoming a great sailor”, after fending off a sustained attack from Yann Eliès. Together with close friend Gildas Morvan, he won the BBE Cup race between Saint-Nazaire and Dakar in Africa in Figaro and the Tour de Brittany in 2001.
He also sailed frequently on the one-design, 52-foot Veolia Océans boat that he piloted and tested all the way to New Zealand. And in multi-body racing from 2004 to 2006 he was part of Pascal Pedigore’s ORMA Tremaran crew, Banque Populaire V, and was crew in the giant Banque Populaire V – the largest multi-body race in the world. He scored the first of three wins for Transat Jacques Fabre in 2009 in the IMOCA class with Marc Guillemot and won again in Team Gitana colors on a MOD70 with Sepp Joos in 2017.
As part of the exodus of elite French sailors challenged by the Volvo Ocean Race, Caudriller competed for the crew to race around the world three times. He won with Cammas Skippering Groupama in 2011 and then finished third in his first time as leader in 2015 before memorably driving Dongfeng to the closest ever race win in 2017-18.
He praised his rival Gabbart who kept his pace on a boat he was racing for the first time, saying, “I didn’t realize how hard we were being pushed. I’ve never seen anything quite like sailing alone.”
Appreciating his weather team’s winning contribution, he said, “I didn’t do much with the weather. I left that to the steers. I could see François was fast, so I kept at it and it was very tiring. I didn’t think he was going to push his new boat so hard. At first I felt it.” My arms ached from the exertion and I experienced cramps, but I never felt completely exhausted even though I couldn’t sleep.”
On the effort required to operate the Ultims on his own he said, “The boat is much bigger than IMOCA or Class 40 and the physical dimension is more important. But winning the Solitaire was my biggest achievement. You alone do everything. It was a team effort but being on the boat alone. Here I’m proud that I made it 100% right off the boat.”
Sailing at an average speed of 25.42 knots (true speed) and after 7 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes and 25 seconds, Thomas Covell crossed the finish in 1852 hours UTC to take third place. Sodebo Ultim 3’s leader finished ten hours and fifty minutes behind the winner, Charles Caudrelier.
Please note that the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe organization is in mourning, following the reporting yesterday of the tragic death of two people on board a spectator boat that capsized because the first boat was terminating the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe in Guadeloupe Bay at Pointe-a-Pitre. Our press service is gradually resuming.
• Pioneers who have retired: Sam Goodchild (Leyton – Ocean Fifty) after being injured during the pre-start, Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One – IMOCA) after crashing off Cape Fréhel, Oren Nataf (Rayon Vert – Rhum Multi) with a torn mainsail, Antoine Magry (E.Leclerc Ville-La-Grand – Class40) after hitting rocks off Batz Island, Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil – IMOCA), Victor Juste (Caisses Reunionnaises Complementaires – Class 40), Martin Louchart (Randstad-Ausy – Class40) , Geoffrey Matacyznski (Fortissimo – Class 40), Laurent Camprubi (Glaces Romane – Class40), Thibaut Vauchel-camus (Solidaires En Peloton – ARSEP – Ocean Fifty), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallee – IMOCA), Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans – Art & Windows – IMOCA) after a fire on board Imoca, Amelie Grassi (La Boulangere Bio – Class40), François Jambou, (A l’Aveugle – Trim Control – Class40) after disassembly, Aurelien Ducroz (Crosscall – Class40), Jean-Pierre Balmes (FullSave – Class40) due p roblems with ballast tanks and sail hook , Brieuc Maisonneuve (CMA Ide-de-france 60,000 Rebonds – Rhum Multi), Ivica Kostelic (ACI – Class40) due to technical problems, including the loss of wind gear.
Details – Skippers – Tracking
In the 44-year history of the Route du Rhum, never have so many solo skippers planned to start on November 6 (now delayed) as in 2022. In this 12th edition, 138 solo riders competed in the classic that leaves Saint- Malo, France, and heads across the Atlantic to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Six divisions will compete, starting with the eight entries in the Ultims and eight in the Ocean Fifty division. There will be thirty-seven IMOCAs, 55 Class40s plus 16 in the Rhum Multi (64ft and under) class and 14 in the Rhum Mono (39+ft) fleet.
Of the competitors, 5% (7) are women across IMOCA, Class40 and Rhum Mono. Fourteen nationalities will be represented, including Japanese and Chinese skippers. In total, 20% of the participants are from outside France. Half of the French skippers are either residents or citizens of Brittany where the race begins, while there are also 6% of Guadeloupe among the competitors.
Source: OC Sport Pen Duick