This Thursday 15th September at 11am, the start of the great race of the third edition of the 40' Malouine LAMOTTE will be given off Saint-Malo. The 31 sailors competing will then set off on a 185-mile loop, the details of which were given by Franck-Yves Escoffier this afternoon. Gone is the initial course in the heart of the Channel Islands. In order to minimise the risks with two months to go before the famous Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe and to meet the skippers' demands as closely as possible, the solo sailors will first set course for Fréhel before turning off towards a way-point in the north-west of Guernsey, to reach the Triagoz plateau off Perros-Guirec, and then to reach the finish line. If the route promises to be complete, it also promises to be swallowed up at great speed!
Contrary to the last two editions, the Race Direction has decided this Wednesday, at the end of the afternoon: the course will not be played out between the Channel Islands. "Several routes of 122 to 177 miles had been envisaged between the islands, but in response to the request of a number of skippers anxious to reduce the risk of damaging their boats with eight weeks to go before the Route du Rhum, we have opted for a loop in northern Brittany. This promises a slightly less complex route from a tactical point of view, but it also reduces the likelihood of accidental encounters with fishing traps, even if a wind farm will now be one of the areas to be avoided", explains Franck-Yves Escoffier, who has therefore validated a 185-mile course in the form of a large triangle. "The sailors will leave Saint-Malo via the Conchée channel, reach Cape Fréhel and then a GPS point situated to the north-west of Guernsey upwind with tacks to be made before coming back down under spinnaker to the Triagoz plateau and then finishing with a reaching leg before arriving at the finish line positioned between Saint-Malo and Dinard at the end of twenty hours of racing", notes the organiser, whose latest routings suggest that the first boats will arrive between 7 and 10 am on Friday.
"A real sprint"
"It's going to be very interesting because it's very complete. There will be something for everyone and that's great. With 50 days to go before the Rhum, this 40' Malouine LAMOTTE will be a perfect dress rehearsal with a fairly stable northerly pattern and between 15 and 20 knots of wind at the most", assures Stan Thuret, who is delighted, like all of his competitors, to have a final opportunity to test themselves before the transatlantic race. To validate a certain number of technical points, to gauge themselves and to evaluate the level of preparation of the competition. "As far as I'm concerned, this is my first solo race in a Class 40! I'm therefore really pleased to have the opportunity to get my bearings on board, even though I've already qualified during a delivery trip back from Marseilles and therefore already have a certain number of miles on the clock as a solo sailor," added the skipper of Everial. Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) was almost identical. "After a short summer break, this 40' Malouine LAMOTTE will allow us to get back into the swing of things, to get back into the racing and to meet up with our friends. Thirty boats are at the start, it's a nice line-up and the fact that we're starting, that we're in Saint-Malo, that we're seeing the place, that we're taking the lock... it's obviously good to get some reference points before the Route du Rhum. It's great training and if the desire to do well is obviously there, as it is at the start of every race, the main objective remains to avoid damaging the boat. The idea is to go there in a relaxed way and to get the machine going again, that is to say to find the automatisms", added the double winner of the Mini Transat who knows, having worked for three years at Les Glénans in Paimpol, that the zone is relatively badly paved. At the very least, it is very technical, with seaweed, rocks and currents, among other things. "It's going to be fun to follow but intense for us on the water," confirms Antoine Carpentier (Redman), the title holder with Pablo Santurde del Arco. "I will of course try to do the double but it won't be easy. First of all because it is not the same format as the last edition which was played in double. In addition, there are a lot of new boats and everyone wants to do well in this last race before the Route du Rhum. It promises to be intense. It's clearly going to be a sprint. We're certainly not going to sleep and it's very likely that the level of commitment from each of us will make the difference at the finish, even though we'll obviously have to sail well, manage to get the most out of the boat and also have a bit of success," finished the sailor from La Trinité.