Never in the Route du Rhum's's 36-year history have there been so many competitors and so many huge trimarans. The 10th edition of the most famous single-handed transatlantic yacht race is already rewriting the record books. A record 91 sailors were in Saint-Malo this Friday for the opening of the official village, in the shadow of the city walls. At 40 metres long, Spindrift 2 will be the largest boat ever to compete in the race. Yann Guichard, her 40-year-old skipper has every confidence in the preparations made by his team to make the maxi-trimaran competitive when raced by a single yachstman.
"Before a race I feel calm but ready, and that is how I feel today," he explains. "The stakes are high, which puts you under pressure. Of course I cannot be sure whether I will make it. You never can when you attempt something for the first time. As a team we have prepared exactly as planned, and with a week to go before the race I know I have made the right choice by competing in the Route du Rhum with Spindrift 2."
Experts and spectators are trying to predict what will happen in the Ultimate Class, which has eight contenders this year, including three boats that are more than 30 m long. "Physically, I am in great shape. I have been working on my fitness, and I realise how important it is every time I set sail," explains Yann. "I continue to train to work on skills, but I feel strong, which is vital for my confidence. Once the weather forecast becomes clearer and we draw up our strategy for the first few days of racing, I will be ready to go. I know my opponents and I know the limits of solo racing on a boat as powerful as Spindrift 2, but if I have a good race with no technical or strategic errors I know I have a chance. That is why I am so excited about this race!"
From October 24th to November 2nd, you can visit the Spindrift racing stand in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe village on Saint-Malo's waterfront. A host of activities will take place throughout the week-long festival. Spindrift racing hopes to share its passion for sailing with as many people as possible as it prepares for this adventure.
2014 start time: Sunday, November 2nd at 2pm, Saint-Malo.