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Sailing Dream Team 03 November 2018

Emmanuel Le Roch is all set for the start of the Route du Rhum

The countdown has started! At 2.00 p.m. on Sunday, the 123 skippers will set sail for Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe for the 11th Route du Rhum single-handed yacht race. The preparations are gathering pace in Saint-Malo, where Emmanuel Le Roch, the skipper of Class40 Edenred is calmly enjoying the countdown to the start of his greatest personal challenge of crossing the Atlantic single-handedly.

The magic of the Route du Rhum

Emmanuel Le Roch has been savoring every moment since he arrived in the Breton port, as he approaches the day when his childhood dream will finally come true. “The atmosphere is fantastic and the visitors are just great. Feeling the fascination for Route du Rhum from the inside is a magical experience,” explains Emmanuel, who accompanied his mate Laurent Bourgnon on the event in 1994 and 1998. In those days, 37 boats took part in the race. This year, there are 123.

Everyone is looking to the skies

As the technical staff makes the final adjustments onboard Class40 Edenred, Emmanuel Le Roch is preparing himself mentally. The weather has been at the center of all the discussions in the port in the last few days, because the forecast is for strong, or even very strong, winds at the start of the race. “The conditions are OK for the start. It would have been difficult to explain to the general public that the start has to be postponed, and I fully support the organizers’ decision to start the race on Sunday, as planned,” states Emmanuel Le Roch. “But we could run into some severe weather conditions quite quickly around the Cap Finisterre. But I’m not particularly concerned. My single-hull boat can easily cope with strong winds.” While the skipper of the Edenred boat feels confident, because he recently changed his rigging and had the opportunity to practice in strong winds last winter, he has also made some minor last-minute changes in Saint-Malo. “Anticipation is the key! So I installed the storm jib (the smallest sail at the front of the boat) and I organized the living quarters in order to sail through 40-knot winds without suffering any damage. It could be a tough passage, but it should be plain sailing afterwards,” confirms Emmanuel Le Roch.
The Class40 Edenred will leave the Bassin Vauban on Saturday November 3 at 5.00 p.m., before spending one last night moored off Dinard. And the big race will start at 2.00 p.m. on Sunday November 4!

Emmanuel's tricks of the trade for his first Route du Rhum.

  • For the first few days, a menu of fresh produce with Thai pasta and prawns, chicken, rice and pan-fried potatoes.
  • And a jar of Nutella and three of his favorite sausages as comfort food.
  • His family and friends have prepared some play lists full of surprises. And he will have two classic French films too: “Le Père Noël est une ordure” (Santa Claus is a Stinker) and “La Vérité si je mens” (Would I lie to you?).


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