Route du Rhum 2018


Nantes, France
Good article in French

Quick and dirty translation (this was written before the 24 hr penalty was announced):

Alain Gautier

Whoever laughs at Alex aboutt he situation doesn't understand anything about sailing! It is very sad, even stupid. But you have to understand, after 12 day's racing, it is very hard on the body. Did he fall asleep on purpose or not? When you are that tired, you don't control anything: you can sit at the chart table et fall asleep in a fraction of a second. Alarms? If he didn't chose to fall alseep, he didn't put them on. We all did it anyway, it buzzes, you press the button to stop it, and just close your eyes for 10 seconds...

It is quite common in Figaro. We'll have to wait for the jury decisions, but Paul and Yann have had a great race as well, wherever they finish. Yann impressed me! He fell in a wind hole at Cap Finisterre, didn't have any luck in the low pressure, and since then he pushed really really hard, very impressive! I am a bit more surprised about Vincent. His broken wind mode on his autopilot doesn't justify everything for me, I bet there are more problems. Even in compass mode, he should have been able to go faster.

Jean Le Cam

An alarm? You can have all the alrms you want, sometimes they won't wake you up when you are that exhausted. If the pilot what in wind mode, the boat just followed the wind. It happened to Joyon after his round the world record - same thing. He ended up int he rock in North Finistere. I once had to fend off rocks under my Figaro. My pilot was in wind mode, and we ended up in rock mode!

Aaprt from that, well done to Tripon, 3rd on the line. Congrats! Beautiful victory. And what Paul and Yann are doing, it is also great. Yann was 50 nm behind at Cap Finisterre. Since, he pushed so hard, what a nice job he did! I guess he is still 100%. I know him: I raced halfway round the globe with him. He never lets go, he is a great competitor. Whether he is solo or not, he is always thinking about everything to stay at the front. Hell of a job Yann!

Yves Le Cornec

I think Alex kind of let go when approaching Guadeloupe, with his 180 nm lead. When you finish that race, you are proprely fried. I remember in 1990, getting closer to the finish, I was told about Florence Arthaud's victory, I was really happy for her and I stopped thinking about the race for a bit. My 20/30 min naps turned into a 4 hour one, despite all the alarms! There is a limit when you so tired and you just stay awake due to stress. I think Alex slept deeply and for a long time. He must have gone down for 30 minutes and didn't wake up.

Non-sailors will say that it is unbelievable to make such a big mistake and still possibly win! It is not that crazy. It was a tough race on tough boats. He gave 100% from the start and built fatigue. I think he is exhausted! It is not the same rythm on a Vendee Globe or Route du Rhum. When ou know what Route du Rhum is like, it is understandable. I can only imagine what a nightmare it's been. What a way to wake up! Hit the cliff at 19 knots in the dark and wake up in the middle of the rocks, mayhem! He mustn't have known if he was dreaming or if it was reality! You can't wish that happening to your worst enemy. I have been there, it is a big cliff!  He was lucky to get away, he could easily have lost his boat, ehich would have been really sad. DSQ? I leave this to the jury, but in my opinion he still deserves to win! It could be a 10 hour penalty. And for Paul, Yann or Vincent, winning like that is never satisfactory. In the 1984 OSTAR, Yvon wins when Philou was the first over the line. What a sad story, none of them really won at the end.

Bernard Gallay

Alex had a great race, it is really sad it is ending up like that. For me, the only opposition for him was Charal, but the boat was too recent.

DSQ? I don't know. I didn't really give it much thought, but for me, he can't win. He would never has gone off the rocks without using his engine. I can't see how you can grant him the victory in these conditions. It is complicated and could lead to strange things in the future. An english jury would'nt even think about it... unless if the other ones are 3 days behind... and even though... It is a complicated story! It is difficult to give him a time penalty, with no engine,he would have been DNF! I am not part of the jury though...



I wonder to what extend HB(as a sponsor) is pissed about Alex or not ...
Why should they? ATR handled that situation very well.

There are more pissed sponsors than HB.

For example Banque Populaire where we haven't seen any pictures or statements.

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huey 2

Super Anarchist
Alex has said he hopes Paul Wins    in the interveiew .    he slept through... the electric shock watch didnt wake him...He has a souvenir of Guadaloupe......pulled a rock out of his pocket . ...  he is grateful to be there ...

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dreaming my life away...
Nokia on the other hand must have raised eyebrows right now...

Shock watch died, audio alarms didn't wake him up.
Agreed.  Stupid watch!  Poor design since it didn't notify the user that it was losing its charge and wouldn't be able to fulfill its most critical function.

Still...  Aiming directly for an island and hoping you'll wake up before you hit it was a poor decision.

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Alboran Sea
The souvenir (guadalupe piece of rock) was just top... and the Meilhat push w/out foils..., the boat being moral winner of VG and Rhum... his arrival is been just a class act... even better than winning w/out the last melonFuck (what a great campaign)

Sponsor HugoBoss must be not just only proud, but celebrating their (8 year o something like that) alliance



Super Anarchist
That's not a link either.  I looked there first and didn't find it.  Fortunately, it showed up on YouTube.  Copy/paste to post a link really isn't hard, folks.  It should be mandatory when posting quoted content or images.
Are you really so pathetic that you are incapable of looking for yourself and need spoon feeding every step of the way???

Don't bother answering, we know the answer.


Thanks for the downvote


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Super Anarchist
The Netherlands
Copy pasting with a phone in a hurry is sometimes shitty, probably doing it in office hours under the desk :)

Phil Sharp still on back up pilot I take from article on the site;
And Railmeat feeling fresh

Update from Michael Hennessy: "I feel like a new man"

Class 40 skipper, Michael Hennessy gives us an update from on board Green Dragon:

"More bearing, south bound this time.  While the winds did not bring any north west reaching conditions, they have definitely presented openings in the High and I am trying to take advantage of that.  Looks like mostly south bound until noon to tomorrow then the wind should clock a bit more to the west or north west allowing me to point more directly towards Guadeloupe. The goal is to get through this stretch recently occupied by the high and below the boundaries of it's new home to the north east of Guadeloupe. 

Lots more to come,  but its progress 

Went through the boat carefully today.  I had to replace a main sheet block that exploded into bearings everywhere, and tidy up elsewhere. Everything is in pretty good shape, including me. A few stretching exercises, fresh clothes, brush the teeth and I feel like a new man. 

Until tomorrow. "


Nantes, France

Less than 40 minutes after crossing the finish line, it was notified to the British skipper after copping a penalty of 24 hours. It adds to his race time that becomes in fact 12 days 23 hours 10 minutes 58 seconds. This decision was taken unanimously by the international jury of five members (two French, two British, one German). It is final and obviously revived the race for the final victory in the IMOCA since Paul Meilhat and Yann Elies, currently 140 miles from Pointe-à-Pitre, are expected within twelve hours. "I want to pay tribute to Alex (Thomson) who had a reaction of great sportsmanship, explained Georges Priol, president of the jury. The security aspect was a mitigating factor that avoided disqualification. But the penalty of 24 hours was the minimum applicable in the case of Hugo Boss skipper. "


huey 2

Super Anarchist
Yann coming  up on Paul  15 nm behind    its interesting again  shame if foils get up at this stage   Paul has sailed an excellent race ... and so has Yann


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