Skippers competing in the tenth edition of the Route du Rhum have been setting their sails in St Malo, France ready for Sunday’s departure.
For many competitors the race to Guadeloupe began many months ago.
Skipper of Spindrift and one of the race favourites Yann Guichard explained : “Working this boat takes a lot of time, I have accept that sometimes I have to slow everything down in order to limit the risks. But with that said this boat has enormous potential so I have to know when to really accelerate. You can’t forget this boat was designed for a 14-member crew and I am the only one on board. We have reduced the size of the original mast from 47 metres to 41 metres. That has reduced the weight of the boat by two tons.”
Another skipper Nils Boyer said: “The boat had been abandoned for some 10 years in the south of Brittany – it was covered with leaves, the engine was dead, as was the electricity – we re-did everything. We got it back into shape after volunteers worked hard day and night for two months and a half.”
The record 91 competitors begin the three and a half thousand nautical mile race race on Sunday with the first arrivals in Pointe-à-Pitre expected in one week.