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The start gun fires for 10th edition of Route du Rhum


The start gun fires for 10th edition of Route du Rhum


The 91-strong fleet competing in the 10th edition of the Route du Rhum set sail off the coast of St Malo, in front of the Fort National with Guadeloupe their destination.

All competitors have now set off and will negotiate the English Channel before heading out into the Atlantic.

With 7000 km of challenging ocean to navigate security for the skippers is high on the priority list.

Nicolas Thomas skipper of Guadeloupe Grand 1001 Large Piles Battery said: “We try to hang on when undergoing maneouvers at the front, it can move about a lot making things complicated.

‘‘Hanging on is the principle security. It’s a single-handed race and things can go bad quickly and there is nobody to come and rescue us.”

It sounds obvious but when you’re alone on a boat the main priority is to stay on board and as soon as conditions get violent minimize risks.

Vincent Riou, 2004 Vendee Globe winner and Skipper of PRB said: “As soon as I leave the cockpit during adverse conditions, where water starts coming on deck, I always head inside and find it (harness) in its place. I grab my harness by its strap and put it on. What is absolutely crucial in this single-handed yacht race is to always be vigilant and never fall overboard.”

Whatever the class of boat, Ultimate or Class 40 and whatever the nationality every sailor has carefully thought out and prepared their security.

Alex Pella, skipper of Tales 2 Santander 2014, said: “We have many security systems on board to ensure the overall safety. It’s the skipper’s responsibility, so therefore it’s my responsibility. Everyone has to know where their own limits are.”

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