October 2017, St Augustine, Florida, USA.
While she was having a walk on the beach, Robbie Dickerson finds a message in a bottle. She starts her research even if the message is not clearly readable. She understands the bottle was thrown into the sea by Gilbert Chollet, in December 2010, during the Route du Rhum race.
Thinking first that Gilbert passed away, Robbie contacts the Class to get the address of Mr Chollet’s family. But Gilbert is alive and remembers that he threw the bottle, at about 600 miles south-west of the Azores, almost halfway of the race. He relates :
« I was participating in the 2010 Route du Rhum when I threw that bottle. On the letter, I wrote my address, the name of the race and I asked to be advised, with a postcard, if the bottle was found.
That happened 7 years ago, and I had forgotten all about this anecdote, even if this Route du Rhum is one of the best adventures of my life.
A the end of the summer, many tropical storms brought beach litter in Florida. Robbie Starnes Dickerson found the bottle while she was looking for sea turtles trapped in the debris.
I have always lived in Saint Malo and always sailed. Many friends of mine participated in the Route du Rhum and encouraged me to register. At 60 years old, I was ready to take up this challenge. I chose the Class40 and it is probably the best idea I had. I found in this Class anextraordinary welcome. Everybody, board, skippers, agreed to make time for me. Thank to them, I raced in very good conditions.
And the Class40 is still involved as an intermediary between Robbie Starnes Dickerson and myself. It seems that the loop is closed !
I wish a long life to the Class40 and thank you all ! »
Robbie, from USA, and Gilbert, from France, are now friends on social networks and in regular contact. What a nice story at Christmas-time !