Go quickly and come back later. If they do not flee the plague, 123 skippeurs being slender Sunday, November 4, in the eleventh edition of the Route du rhum might make them the antiphon ” tico, longo, slow “, regarded as the best councils in the Middle Ages to escape the epidemic. Because the last few points weather promise a tage of the strong transatlantic restless : in the night of Monday 5 to Tuesday 6 November, a depression will sweep the Atlantic, from Ireland to the Azores, making dodging almost impossible to mariners engaged in the race.

even Before this blow ” tobacco “, Sébastien Josse, who was in the lead of the race, has suffered a big blow : shortly after 5: 30 Monday 5 November, the skipper has warned his team of a damage-major aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. “Sebastian has lost a piece of 8 m bow” of its float to starboard, told AFP the general director of the team, Cyril Dardashti, declaring that there was ” no shock “.

” You can’t put on a bandage and leave. It is currently under a reduced speed, he joined La Coruna here this evening where a team will be there to retrieve it. There is a new depression that happens, you have to be fast to the shelter, ” added Cyril Dardashti.

On the morning of Monday, Thomas Coville, who was timed in second position behind François Gabart (Macif), auasi been a victim of an incident : the fascia of the arm before the port side of the maxi trimaran Sodebo broke. With his technical team, he decided to divert to La Coruna.

“No escape”

” For the day Tuesday, there was no escape, was anticipated before the start Jeremiah Béyou (Charal), including the brand-new Imoca with foils, the last-born of his class, has never faced such a time. It is necessary to prepare to sail for a long time in the wind and the sea is very strong and to be careful with the boat. “

He and his comrades will have to choose between Charybdis and Scylla. If they charge right into the depression, which stretches in an arc from the Irish sea up to the archipelago of the Azores, the skippeurs face of the southwesterly winds of 40 knots (75 km/h) with gusts exceeding 100 km/h. If they try to bypass it by the west, they pay the price of grains in a swell eight metres.

In such conditions, not matter for the Final – these maxi-trimarans equipped with foils – to take off. If it increases drastically the speed, the flight time on these appendages is not an option for skippeurs that if the sea is ready. This is the case since the start of the race, and could allow the five giants of the sea to avoid the brunt of the depression.

“Make the back round, to pass in force or to stop”

” These big multihulls are so fast they move faster than the weather “, noted Michel Desjoyeaux before the start. Winner of the 2002 edition – at the end of a race almost ruined by the bad weather, “the Professor” does not take the start of this year, but has published a book on 40 years of the Route du rhum (Marabout), and keeps a watchful eye on the race.

“If they have an escape, it is they who will choose if they will or not in the wrong time, “he explains, stating that” in principle, these Ultimate have been designed to browse by the same time, because we know – especially since 2002 – what we can face at sea. On the other hand, if there is no escape, they will be forced to suffer. And here we may make the back round, to force through or stop “.

Read also : The flight to the unknown of the Ultimate

The shelter is an option considered by a number of skippeurs, in particular those whose mounts, less rapid, will not allow them to cross the gulf of Biscay before the storm.

To cope with the weather forecast not far from being alarmist, the director of the event reminded them of, Saturday, the establishment this year of a rule allowing the skippeurs to call without being penalized in a radius of 150 nautical miles (277 km, up to La Rochelle).

” This system can be turned on and in a good marine it will not hesitate to stop, or shelter, explained Jacques Caraës. For the fastest boats, there are loopholes. For slower, it is more difficult, because they are more, so we are going to help with the different captains – to find shelter for the put, for at least twenty-four hours, apart from the heavy blow of wind which arrives on the bay of Biscay. “

See our infographic : Boats, route… to understand Everything to the Route du rhum

to Reduce the wing

even Before the start of the race, the experienced Bob Escoffier (69 years old, the fifth race of the rum) announced to the Paris to have chosen to house its ancient Kriter V (second of the first Route du rhum in 1978) as early as Sunday evening, to Roscoff.

” When we see the time that happens, it is not worth it to take risks and engage in the bay of Biscay, where it does not look very nice. We don’t want to go and break the material from the first two days, then it stops, justifies the skippeur, who intends not to be able to return to sea until Wednesday. I have a great boat that is 40 years old, I don’t want to break it. Sometimes you have to take a break to last. “

Read the interview with the winner of the first edition : Mike Birch

For those who battle the elements, it will be necessary to make the back round, and reduce the sail. “We’re going to take out the sails that never goes out “, a press release, fatalistic, Kito de Pavant (Made in Midi) on Saturday. Instead of the nearly three hundred square meters when it is under full sail, its Class 40 should deploy than a thirty square meters to cross the depression.

” The challenge will be to successfully move forward in the rough sea, extends Yann Elies (Ucar – Saint-Michel). He will have to pay attention to the man and the machine. “

” At the same time, it’s still the north Atlantic in the month of November. This is not a long quiet river “, philosopher Michel Desjoyeaux, winner of an edition where only three of the eighteen trimarans Orma (multihull 60 feet) had reached Pointe-à-Pitre.

” This place, the bay of Biscay, cape Finisterre, it is one of the most rotten of the world, abounds architect Vincent Lauriot-Prévost whose VPLP has designed many of the ships of the race. In general, it was wind in the mouth, the passages of depressions with a first front, and then a second and a third, of the scales of the wind important, and a sea amplified by the variations in depths. “

while waiting to taste the rum guadeloupean promised to skippeurs completing the race, the fleet of the tenth Route du rhum is about to face a big tobacco.


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