Just eight IMOCAs on the Route du Rhum race course. Yesterday evening Alan Roura (Hublot) crossed the finish line to take 21st position – Alan was sailing on my last boat, HUGO BOSS 7. When he hit the dock, Alan didn’t hide his frustration – acknowledging that his boat is not easy to understand, and he still has a lot to learn.
Around 17 hours after Alan finished, Guirec Soudée (Freelance.com) sailed across the line to take 25th position and was the last person on the course sailing one of my old boats (HUGO BOSS 4). From the start, Guirec had to deal with several issues with sails including holes in his mainsail and broken tack points, but he seemed to enjoy the race and even had an oyster dinner one day!
Away from the IMOCAs, the first finishers in the smaller Class 40 fleet arrived in Pointe-a-Pitre yesterday. Yoann Richomme (Paprec Arkéa) took the win and defended his title, having won the fleet in 2018. Over the start line at the beginning, Yoann received a 4-hour penalty that put him back in 51st position early on; against all odds, he worked his way back through the fleet and finished 4 hours ahead of second place.
Yoann and his sponsor Paprec Arkéa are moving into the IMOCA fleet next year when his new boat launches – instead of taking things easy until then, he and his team decided to launch a Class 40 project. He will be a formidable sailor in the IMOCA fleet with two Solitaire du Figaro and now two Route du Rhum wins behind him.