Route Du Rhum Enters Day 11 With a Battle Being Waged Up Front As Others Lag Behind

With Day 10 of the 12th Route du Rhum in the books, only the Ultim 32/23 fleet has reached the finish line on the French-owned Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
Route du Rhum 6 photos
Photo: Pierre Bouras
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The 105-foot (32-meter) Ultims began arriving at the finish line after over six days of racing with skipper Charles Caudrelier leading the charge in record-setting time. With that, all eyes are now on the next fastest group of racers to cross the finish line; the Ocean 50 class.

Arkema skippered by Quentin Vlamynck is riding the healthy northeast trade winds at a steady 21.5 knots (24 mph/38.9 kph) on a southwesterly course taking dead aim at the finish line of Pointe a Pitre as of this writing. However, with just under 500 nm to go, Arkema is just 35 nm clear of second-place Erwan Le Roux aboard Koesio but, Le Roux is on sailing higher in search of better wind conditions hoping to jibe at some point ahead of Arkema.

The big news comes from the IMOCA class where Charlie Dalin on Apivia, who had led the entire race, was passed by Thomas Ruyant aboard LinkedOut in the early morning and is now 20 nm (23 miles / 37 km) clear of Apivia. Ruyant benefitted from a more westerly position that presented better wind conditions. It appears that both are on a northwesterly course in search of stronger more consistent winds to jibe back toward the finish expected to come late Sunday or early Monday.

The Class 40 fleet has been whittled down from 55 boats to 38 after some unfortunate breakdowns and weather fronts. Yoann Richomme skippering Paprec-Arkea is sailing at a healthy 18 knots (20.7 mph/33.3 kph) with approximately 1,400 nm (1,611 miles/2,593 km) to the finish. He is almost 100 nm (115 miles/185 km) clear of second-place Allagrande Pirelli with Ambrogio Beccaria at the helm. Innoveo, once a front runner is sailing on the same course and same speed just 4 nm (4.6 miles/7 km) off the Beccaria's stern.

Not much has changed in the order of the Rhum Multi class with Jess, skippered by Gilles Buekenhout still out in front of Roland Jourdain's We Explore Jess is sailing a bit higher at 14 knots (16 mph/26 kph) compared with 11 knots (12.66 mph/20.4 kph) for We Explore which trails by over 80 nm (92 miles/148 km).

Jean-Pierre Dick's Notre Méditerranée - Ville de Nice continues to outpace the Rhum Mono fleet and his margin is growing by the day over second-place Formatives ESI Business School Pour Ocean As Common that now stands at over 180 nm (207 mile / 333 km). However, having just past the halfway point of the race, a great deal can happen before reaching Guadeloupe. This class is by far the most stretched-out fleet in the contest.
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