The podium positions were decided this morning in the Route du Rhum IMOCA fleet! Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) finished first, an hour and 20 minutes ahead of Charlie Dalin (Apivia). Rounding out the top three, Jeremie Beyou (Charal) finished three hours and 24 minutes behind Dalin and claimed the title of first new build.
All three podium finishers broke the previous IMOCA record, with Ruyant’s time of 11 days, 17 hours and 36 minutes now the benchmark.
From the start, things have been close at the top, proving again that the Route du Rhum is an all-out sprint across the Atlantic. There’s been no time to rest, and each of the finishers has said how exhausted they are.
Charlie Dalin led the race for most of the 11 days of racing, but Thomas Ruyant bided his time and made a move with around 1,000 miles to go – consistently having an extra knot on Charlie and slowly extending his lead. Both Thomas and Charlie will be pleased with their performances and this will undoubtedly be a fitting send-off for their last race in their respective boats. Both sailors are moving into new builds next year for the build-up to the 2024 Vendée Globe.
Thomas adds this win to a list of transatlantic victories in different classes: the Mini Transat in Mini 6.50 (2009), Route du Rhum in Class 40 (2010), Transat AG2R in Figaro (2018) and Transat Jacques Vabre in IMOCA (2021).
Jeremie’s performance is particularly impressive since his boat launched in July this year. It’s a long process to get a new build up to speed, especially with innovations like his (Jeremie’s rudders are very different to every other boat in the fleet). Throughout the race, he has reported the need to balance performance with trying not to push the boat too hard; he seems to have toed that line extremely well. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jeremie and Charal can do next year now they’ve got some miles underneath them!
Congratulations to all three sailors, each place is well deserved, and it’s been great to follow it along the way. However, the race isn’t over yet – there are still 31 sailors yet to finish, and lots of positions are still up for grabs.