The Route du Rhum according to Alberto Bona

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The Route du Rhum according to Alberto Bona

Due to the bad weather conditions forecast over Brittany in the coming days, the IBSA-Bona team decided to anticipate the transfer of the boat, initially scheduled for the weekend. Thus, the Class40 IBSA is once again moored in the port of Saint-Malo from where, on November 6, the Route du Rhum will start.

The Route du Rhum is the circuit’s most famous solo ocean crossing, and therefore the most coveted by all. In our class, there will be 55 participants, among the strongest Class40 teams. The Route du Rhum has a long and fascinating history, that everyone knows and that has been passed down since the first edition; here in France it’s very famous! This year, there is much talk about Florence Arthaud, because Philippe Poupon (another myth of transalpine sailing) will be sailing with the same trimaran aboard which Florence won in 1990. At the time I was 4, and the Route du Rhum was already a legend!

I followed the 2014 edition closely, observing especially the Class40s. Giancarlo Pedote participated on Fantastica, and Alex Pella did a superlative regatta and won with great class. Richomme‘s victory in 2018 – again in Class40 – was impressive, but the episode that most excited me of the last edition was the fight between two giants, Francis Joyon and François Gabart, with Francis eventually winning.

For me, this Route du Rhum will be a discovery. It will be my first solo crossing on this type of boat, the first on this route, a non-stop from Europe in winter to the warm Caribbean.

I am very curious to see what the weather will be like, what route we will take and how we will manage the descent towards warmer latitudes, in search of the trade winds. The thing that motivates me the most is to find the quickest way to Guadeloupe, a direct route, with no intermediate stop.

Even the racing mode will be completely new for me: it’s the first time that I have the chance to receive weather information on board, and to know precisely where my opponents are.

In short, apart from the Mini, this is my first real solo transat, and I can’t wait to start.

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