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Entries open for Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2018

by Marie Le Berrigaud-Perochon on 28 Oct 24 October 2017
Le village de la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2014 © Alexis Courcoux

Long awaited by skippers, boat and team owners, stakeholders and sponsors alike the Notice of Race for the 40th anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe was published and made available on Tuesday 24th October. The official document drawn up and published by OC Sport Pen Duick, the organisers of the historic event, formally opens the entry registration process and announces the opening dates of the 12,000 m2 race village in Saint Malo. The village will be open from Wednesday 24th October and stays open until after the start on Sunday November 4th.

From the sports perspective the Notice of Race is the foundation, outline document which lays out the essential event principles and information. For this particularly historic edition of a legendary solo race, the 40th anniversary year since the first Route du Rhum, the Notice of Race has been published a little over one year before the race. The Notice of Race reveals several new initiatives or changes which the organisers have brought in to force. It confirms that the maximum fleet size for the race will be limited to 100 boats, a maximum complement set for logistical and safety reasons. 
 In turn there are limits for each of the six divisions. A maximum of 8 Ultimes will be allowed, 7 Multi50s, 20 IMOCAs, 40 Class 40s, 10 Multihull Rhum Class and 15 in the Monohull Rhum Class.

The pre race festivities will begin as soon as the boats arrive in Saint-Malo. Unlike previous editions, competitors will not now enter into the basins of the 'Corsair City' in order of arrival, but will take part in a formalised arrival parade, welcoming the fleet into the basins by class order on Thursday 25 and Friday, October 26. 
It is expected that this will really add to the already potent magic recipe of 'the Rhum', and the fleet will then be open to visitors for 11 full days.

By Friday, October 26, at 20:00 hard and fast, all must have moored up in Saint Malo's Vauban and Duguay-Trouin basins, or the mooring areas off the city which are designed for the Ultimes which are too big to pass in and out through the sea locks. And two parades will also be organised following the finish at Pointe-à-Pitre. 
On the Atlantic Ocean the famous 'rum route' course remains unchanged with a fixed starting line north of Pointe du Grouin, a passing buoy at Cape Fréhel and a circuit Guadeloupe to be left port before the finish line. 
For those who have not participated in qualifying events as detailed in the Notice of Race qualification imposed aboard their boat rises from 1000 to 1200 miles. Also changed is that now one single technical stop will be allowed. But if the skipper makes a stop within the initial 150 nautical miles radius of Saint Malo it does not count as a technical stop.

Of course the biggest public show is the race start itself on Sunday, November 4, 2018. But the festivities start off on Wednesday, October 24 at 1700hrs local time with the official opening of the 12 000 m2 village which will be operated by Gesloc. For 11 days and until closing on the evening after starting, nearly 300 exhibitors will be located from the Quai Duguay-Trouin to the chaussée Eric Tabarly and the Gare Maritime de la Bourse and the Esplanade Saint-Vincent, all set out for the enjoyment, education and information for the hundreds of thousands of visitors which are expected to come to the 40th anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe.

From Wednesday, October 24th, this race village will be open every day from 10 am to 8 pm, and until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. And note for diaries now it is on Saturday, October 27 that official presentation of all the skippers will take place.

This 40th anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe looks set to hold many surprises, writing a new and exciting chapter in the storied history of this legendary Transatlantic race.

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