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(November 19, 2022; Day 11) – Arthur Le Vaillant brought his 21-year-old Ultim 32/23 yacht across the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe finish line in sixth place this afternoon.

From fourth place in Class40 in 2018, it was a step up for the 34-year-old leader from La Rochelle into the iconic Maxi class that started life as Olivier de Kersauson Geronimo but was largely redesigned as the Sodebo that Thomas Covel smashed Solo world record in 2016.

Mieux was the sole entrant into Guadeloupe today on the eve of an almost unprecedented rush of runners that will likely start tomorrow when the first OCEAN fifty rolls around in the morning local time. Armel Le Cléac’h is due to start in the afternoon for the Maxi Banque Populaire XI, while early the next will see the start of a rapid succession for IMOCA.

In the OCEAN FIFTY class, there’s an engaging duel between the youngest skipper in the class, 28-year-old former junior sailor Quentin Vlamynck in Arkema, who is on his first solo multi-cruise voyage across the Atlantic, and who attempts to cover the route of 2014 Route du Rhum Multi winner 50 in class for Erwan Le Roux, the 47-year-old captain of Koesio, in the final miles of his fifth Route du Rhum.

Vlamynck, who has led since the Azores, has just over 28 miles on hand and 150 miles to cover the northern tip of Guadeloupe on Saturday afternoon.

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The IMOCA duel is as hot as ever, with leader Thomas Royant (LinkedOUT) keeping a steady two-mile margin ahead of Charlie Dalin (Apivia) since last night, the pair trading the lead to get a long line into Guadeloupe.

Royant is not short of transatlantic race winning experience having triumphed a year ago on Jacques Fabre’s Transat in Martinique, winning the AG2R in St Barth on a Figaro in 2018, a 2010 Rom Road in the Class 40 and a 2009 Mini Transat to this same finish line. . And so, while Dalin is undefeated this season on Apivia, this is his first Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

Germany’s Boris Herrmann had to return to ‘hand over’ mode – and now he’s racing with his chips that sagged on his new Malizia-Seaexplorer after screws in the foil housing on either side failed or bent.

“It’s a bit of a rubbish thing because I put a lot of effort into making this boat as good as it can be, and it’s not where I want to be right now,” said Hermann. “I can’t deny that it definitely makes me a little frustrated.

“I try to distract myself, but I tell myself the goal is to finish the race so I can qualify for the Vendée Globe and it looks like I’m getting there. So it’s good. But my feelings are a little shattered now.”

Herrmann finished fifth in the last Vendée Globe race and one of the first to announce that he will build a new boat for the 2024 race.

The Battle of IMOCA is indeed the first skirmish of several newly launched boats and there are some conclusions to be drawn so far. Choosing Kevin Escoffier to take over and complete a boat that was already under construction proves wise as he finishes fourth. Many observers haven’t given IMOCA 2018 winner Paul Meilhat much of a chance to finish due to how new he is to Biotherm, but he’s well into game five.

But sure, the top half of IMOCA’s fleet, at least, will be watching the Class40 performance of Yoann Richomme (Paprec-Arkea), and if they haven’t already positioned him as a contender for the Vendée Globe podium, the way he sails away from the fleet – even after a four-year penalty Hours into Day One – is another reminder of what Richomme can do.

“I feel very comfortable with my boat,” Richum said this morning. “We’re zipping along and it feels so good. The weather is more favorable than my competition. I’m gaining miles, but we know there won’t be enough. Now, it’s straight. I’m starting to think about the finish, but a trip around Guadeloupe can always shake things up.”

With less than 100 miles to go, second-placed Italian Ambrogio Beccaria, the 31-year-old who won the 2020 Mini Transat, was the fastest in the fleet this afternoon in good wind conditions, racing his all-new Italian 40-Class Allegrande-Pirelli .

• 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 60000 Rebonds – Rhum Multi), Ivica Kostelic (ACI – Class40) due to technical problems, including loss of wind gear, Sacha Donard (Pato Cit’hotel – Region Guadeloupe – Class40), Erwan Thiboumery (Interaction – Rhum Multi)

Details – Skippers – Tracking

In the 44-year history of the Route du Rhum, never have there been so many solo skippers planning to start November 6 (postponed to November 9) as in 2022. In this 12th edition, 138 single riders will compete in the classic race that It leaves Saint-Malo, France and heads across the Atlantic Ocean 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

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