(November 23, 2022; Day 15) – French skipper Yoann Richom joined a very elite group of solo ocean runners to take two class wins on the Route Destination Guadeloupe, when he brought the newly built Lombard Lift 40 V2 Paprec-Arcaia across the finish line of the 12th edition Today at 16:23:40 UTC to win the class 40 of a standard entry of 55 boats.
Richomme repeats his 2018 title success in class by fax, launching his latest new boat in the same racing season, improving the boat and making it reliable over a compressed run before going on to win comfortably.
The main differences this year are that the 39-year-old Southampton (GBR) trained marine engineer was called to the starting line early in Saint-Malo on November 9 and had to take a mandatory four-hour penalty.
Although he took it shrewdly as the fleet negotiated a wave of light weather and strong tides at Cape Frehill—his net loss was later estimated to have been more than two and a half hours—he immediately dropped to 50th with a 19-mile deficit in the leaders. But with his distinguished leadership and clever and pure strategies, he succeeded in passing the fleet and took the lead just before the Azores.
Richom’s lead of up to 120 miles in the fast sailing trade winds afforded him the luxury of a relatively quiet passage around today’s western Bass Terry Island.
With the elapsed time of 14d 03hrs 08mins 40s, Richomme broke his own two-day class course record. His winning time in 2018 was 16 days 03 hours 22 minutes 44 seconds. He also became the first skipper to win the Class 40 in back-to-back races.
Richum’s celebrations on the dock were a repeat of the last time, enjoying simultaneous moments of pleasure and relief with his arms held high and his eyes raised to the sky. A true idealist in every sense of the word and a meteorological strategist, even his arrival at the dock was—by chance—just in time for media deadlines at home in France.
“I’m really proud,” Ritchum said excitedly, “there are a lot of ingredients that are necessary to win this race. I took my time analyzing the weather and we had some aggressive systems. I was afraid the whole time that I would suffer a crack. Even rounding Guadeloupe, I was afraid of it.” It was a real challenge.
“Of course I could have stayed home for my IMOCA setup, but it was a challenge for me and the team. So I’m really happy. It was hard to run the race. I had to slow the boat down for the first time. It’s really tough and you have to give everything. Corentin with his electrical problems and Ambrogio at his age… Congratulations… I’m proud of this result.
“I did my job and on every front, I won. I never studied what was going on. I was in my own race and didn’t study the rest. The start was great under Genker for two days as in the manuals. It was wild afterwards with huge waves. Bagdad! I had to slow the boat when I got to 25 knots. For the past two days, I’ve been going global to do my own race.”
He was close to IMOCA at times, he recalls, “Front four, I said I’d change my strategy and go south, rather than go with the others. Others made mistakes. That’s when I was enjoying myself. I haven’t been racing that way in a while, so I was glad it worked IMOCAs?I followed Justin and Isabelle.It was great to be able to follow them.
“Nonetheless, I’m exhausted. I’ve been at the end of my rope a few times, but everything worked out fine. I managed to sleep differently than in the past. It was hard trying to sleep. We were able to handle two projects at the same time. My sponsors followed me.” At first, it wasn’t planned, but now I’m ready to tackle the IMOCA project. You can’t compare this with the Vendée Globe.”
The Route du Rhum club of double winners includes Laurent Bourgnon (streak of 1994 and 1998 Multi honours); Erwan Le Roux (winner of the Multi50 / OCEAN 50 in 2014 and 2022); Roland Jordan (2006 and 2010 IMOCA title winner); Thomas Royant (Class 40 2010 and IMOCA 2022) and the only three-time winner, Franck-Yves Escoffier (1998, 2002 and 2006 Giver 50).
Backed by French recycling group Paprec and banking group Credit Mutuel Arkea – who have united to form a high-level long-term sustainable project – the team’s management has hand-picked the outstanding Richomme to lead their new IMOCA which is built for the 2024 Vendée Globe and will be launched early next year.
Richum is one of the outstanding sailors and technicians of his generation. He is a double winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, winning in 2016 and again in 2019, the first year that the Beneteau Figaro 3 was introduced to the race – when all the French legends – such as Jérémie Beyou, Michel Desjoyeaux and Yann Eliès – left And Armel Le Cléach and Loick Peyron – on his heels.
• 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