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12th Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe: a full debrief and results of an exceptional edition

by La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 4 Apr 2023 12:13 BST
Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe © Vincent Olivaud / #RDR2022

The 12th edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe delivered on all its promises when, last Autumn, it wrote yet another colourful and engaging chapter in the history of solo ocean racing and of French sport.

On the sport side of the four yearly event it was a great contest. Racing from Saint-Malo to Guadeloupe, the six different classes all enjoyed close competition and records were broken. On the shore side, the results are as exciting, reflecting the huge success of a massively popular event.

In terms of the media return, the most famous single-handed transatlantic race reached a big, diverse audience. Record figures there, too, illustrate the exceptional success of this Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022. Overall it was an outstanding success made possible thanks to the unfailing commitment and support of all the various public and private partners.

An edition setting many records

With a record 138 solo sailors at the start line for the transatlantic race, 103 made the finish. There were six different classes and therefore six winners: Charles Caudrelier - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, in Ultim 32/23, Erwan Le Roux - Koesio, in Ocean Fifty, Thomas Ruyant - LinkedOut, in IMOCA, Yoann Richomme - Paprec Arkéa, in Class40, Loïc Escoffier - Lodigroup, in Rhum Multi, Jean-Pierre Dick - Notre Méditerranée - Ville de Nice, in Rhum Mono. The race between Saint-Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre record dropped under seven days for the first time, now at 6 days 19 hours 47 minutes and 25 seconds or the winner Charles Caudrelier.

And the media return also set records: Nearly 2 million viewers watched the start on November 9 despite it being postponed for 3 days for the very first time in the history of the race, there were around 1,100 accredited journalists, there were 5 million unique visitors on the official site and 167,000 downloads of the official application. That equates to a total of around 266 million euros in media coverage, meaning the event was one of the most followed French sporting events... These figures are worth noting but most of all the huge popularity of the event is underlined on the docks before and during the start in Saint Malo.

A popular and regional festival in Saint-Malo

There were around 1.5 million visitors to Saint Malo and the immediate area over the thirteen days the village was open. The Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe was one of the biggest French sports gatherings of the year 2022. Attracting, hosting, informing and entertaining a bigger number of visitors was one of the core targets of the City of Saint-Malo and OC Sport Pen Duick, the organizer. Hence the increased area of the village, from 50,000 to 70,000 m2 which required an overall overhaul of the site ergonomics and circulation through the event space as well as the creation of new points of interest, including the Rocabey area with the Big Wheel CIC - Le Télégramme. And especially popular this time were the staging of the incoming and outgoing passages of the Saint-Malo locks. These offered visitors unforgettable moments seen from the vantage points in the stands or in front of the giant screens installed on either side of the Naye lock. And another popular first was having the Ultim 32/23 come into the basins of Saint-Malo where there were seen up close at the docks. Another new feature welcomed by all were the parades which gave visitors the opportunity to see the competitors evolve in front of Saint-Malo.

Guadeloupe Region, the essential partner for the "Rhum"

For four years since the 2018 edition Guadeloupeans awaited the return of the race, the fastest boats as well as their seven 'local hero' skippers. Three official villages were set up at the Memorial ACTe, in Basse-Terre and at the Marina du Bas du Fort, and a village in Sainte-Anne. 305,000 visitors enjoyed the finishes of the boats for 3 weeks and until the line finally closed on December 7, 2022. Two prize-giving ceremonies were organized by the Guadeloupe Region with each attracting an audience of several thousand people. This 12th edition also made it possible to create a link between Rhum sailors and local nautical societies during the organization of the Saintoises Trophies in Sainte-Anne, Basse-Terre and Deshaies, when the traditional local boats were highlighted.

Download the official Report of the 12th Edition of la Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe

Partners at work

The family of sponsors and partners really worked tirelessly to ensure that the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe was a success. OC Sport Pen Duick says a big thank you to the partners, without whom this event would not have had the success it deserved!

Among them are Guadeloupe Region - Exclusive Major Partner, main partners - Saint Malo, Brittany Region, CIC. There are consistent, historical partners and newcomers, OC Sport Pen Duick offer their sincere thanks. On this 2022 edition, 52 public and private partners made their commitment to the organizer to support most beautiful edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe. They also salute the 400 volunteers of the SNBSM (Société Nautique de la Baie de Saint-Malo) for their commitment, also the Port of Saint-Malo - property of the Brittany Region, Main Partner of the race - who made it possible to welcome the 138 sailors and their boats.

The societal commitment of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe

Aware of the fact that events such as La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe must, in the future, pave the way for increasingly responsible, sustainable gatherings, OC Sport Pen Duick and the stakeholders laid down the foundations of a sustainable course for the future. Among the initiatives were the tollaboration with Surfrider Foundation Europe, an NGO Partner who helped in setting up many awareness-raising actions. They had a big, busy stand in the village in Saint-Malo, a day of conferences, a stand in Guadeloupe. Such commitments areipart of a long-term vision and the areas of expertise of these environmental partners will provide concrete solutions en route to a more virtuous Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe.

A lasting tribute to our collegaues Alex and François

It is impossible to think of the eoute du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022 without emotional memories of our dear colleagues and friends Alex Picot and François Naveilhan, who disappeared during the tragic accident which occurred at the finishes in Guadeloupe. We wish to honor and respect the treasured memories of Alex and François, both valued employees of OC Sport Pen Duick.

Find the summary video of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022:

Quotes:

Edouard Coudurier, CEO of the Télégramme Group: "Over the past twenty years, the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe has really changed a lot. A legendary race from the start, but now so much more than that. It has become a reference for national and international sporting events, thanks to the talent and commitment of everyone involved. The Télégramme Group which organises the race through its subsidiary, OC Sport Pen Duick, is hugely proud of what it has achieved. It is more popular than ever with 138 boats competing, 1.5 million visitors to St. Malo and almost 2 million TV viewers for the start. The overall media fallout came to more than 260 million euros. We're now looking forward to ensuring the race is carbon neutral in 2026."

Joseph Bizard, Managing Director of OC Sport Pen Duick: "This race requires four years of hard work and would not have been possible without the commitment shown by all those involved, starting with the Guadeloupe Region and the headline partners like St. Malo, Brittany and the CIC bank. The 138 competitors gave us a new chapter in the history of the race in all six categories, including professionals and amateurs. The overall winner, Charles Caudrelier has joined the long list of great sailors that have won this solo transatlantic race since 1978. There was a new vision for the event with the parades off St. Malo and in Guadeloupe, a new look to the village and a move towards making this an environmentally-friendly event.The Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe is now one of France's greatest sporting events. We would like to dedicate this success to everyone involved and in particular we'd like to pay honour to Alex and François."

Ary Chalus, President of the Guadeloupe Region: "The 2022 edition of this most prestigious ocean race became one for the history books. The Guadeloupe Region showed its enthusiasm from the start, as the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe was the best way for us to encourage business, particularly in the tourism sector, with hotels and airline companies, but also many small local firms. We saw this as an ideal way to stimulate the economy and the figures show this was successful. Between 6th November and 7th December 2022, 96,383 passengers arrived in Guadeloupe, 7% more than in the same period in 2018 and 2019. From 8th November to 7th December, 304,982 people visited the village, while between 7th November and 11th December, the accommodation generated a turnover of 8,267,700 euros. See you again in four years from now."

Gilles Lurton, Mayor of St. Malo and Chairman of the Saint-Malo Urban area: "It was five months ago that the skippers left the harbour in St. Malo. We all remember their presence, personalities and generosity. This event is firmly fixed in the hearts of the local population and our city is one of the major homes of ocean racing. 2022 was a record-breaking edition. 1.5 million visitors came to the village in St. Malo with everyone delighted. That was after all our goal. See you in 2026. We can hardly wait!"

Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of the Brittany Region: "The fastest crossing ever, the biggest line-up, the greatest number of visitors at the village, this 12th edition was a record-breaking event. For the Brittany Region, the owner of the Port of St. Malo, which carried out a lot of work and employed many staff to enable the public to enjoy some exceptional moments, in particular the passage of the Ultim 32/23 boats through the harbour gates, the figures make us particularly proud. The organisers, partners and official bodies, owners and sailors all contributed to making this legendary event so popular. It fascinates an ever increasing number of people of all ages."

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