The Frenchman François Gabart should arrive at Pointe-à-Pitre, the last stop on the Route du Rhum, Sunday afternoon, far ahead of the rest of the fleet.
At the head of the Route du Rhum, the navigator François Gabart (Macif) is expected on the finish line of Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe, Sunday afternoon, according to the latest estimates of his team. Gabart could win the eleventh edition of the transatlantic competition alone between 4pm and 6pm local time. The holder of the record of the world tour (from 42 to 16 hours) was at 810 nautical miles (1,500 km) from the finish line, followed by Francis Joyon (Idec Sport), 123 miles from Gabart (227 km) and both shot almost 30 knots (55 km / h), according to the latest results.
A risky bypass. The race should be played in a time similar to the record time set in the last edition, in 2014, won in 7 days and 15 hours by Loïck Peyron (Banque Populaire 7). Gabart, on board his maxi-trimaran of the elite class of Ultim (32 m long and 23 m maximum width), must pay attention to the island that will have to go around to reach Pointe-à-Pitre, the passage of the buoy of Basse-Terre can take several hours depending on the winds. "I hear François (Gabart), he has the anger to win, it seems, and he has not undertaken the Route du Rhum to let him go, it is a certainty", warned one of his team members, Guillaume Combescure.
Two big favorites on the sidelines. For its 40 years, the Route du Rhum has a particularly proven edition due to the succession of three depressions that damaged the fleet of 123 boats left on Sunday Saint-Malo. Among the favorites, Sébastien Josse (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) and Armel Le Cléac & # 39; h (Maxi Banque Populaire IX), at the helm of flying boats of the last generation, had to surrender. Another competitor for the win, Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim) is waiting in the port of A Coruña, Spain, and hopes to leave after having repaired a major damage to the connection.