Axel May (in Pointe-à-Pitre), edited by Laura Laplaud
We have known since Wednesday evening the leading trio in the queen category of the Route du Rhum, the Ultim, Charles Caudrelier ahead of François Gabart and Thomas Coville. All three broke the previous event record. Four years ago, Francis Joyon took 7 days, 14 hours and 21 minutes. How to explain such a performance?
Charles Caudrelier is the big winner of this 12th edition of the Route du Rhum, after 6 days, 19 hours, 47 minutes and 25 seconds of navigation. An arrival bereaved by the accident of a follower boat which left two dead. The 48-year-old Breton was closely followed by Francois Gabart and Thomas Coville. This year, this leading trio in the Ultim category smashed the event record of 7 days, 14 hours and 21 minutes set by Francis Joyon in 2018. How can such a performance be explained?
A boat that flies?
This year, the skippers made a dazzling crossing. Charles Caudrelier and François Gabart both passed under the symbolic bar of seven days to reach Guadeloupe. Thomas Coville, who came third, also broke Francis Joyon’s record. A feat that challenges. Six days “it’s very fast but it more represents the evolution of the boats, the performance of the boats”, answers Charles Caudelier at the microphone of Europe 1. “Which is huge because Francis’ boat was a very fast boat, but here we have the same size of boat except that it flies”, he explains.
When the wind blows enough, the hull of these maxi-trimarans lifts thanks to carbon supporting surfaces and foils that act like airplane wings. In a few years, this flying boat technology has been sufficiently mastered to allow records to be broken. And if the weather conditions had been kinder on this Rum Routethe skippers aboard their ultimate could have gone below the bar of six days of navigation.