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Rallye des Iles du Soleil - A journey of a thousand discoveries!

by Veronique Largeau on 13 Nov 2012
Rallye des Iles du Soleil © Rallye des Iles du Soleil http://www.ilesdusoleil.eu/
For this 2013 edition, participants in the Rallye des Iles du Soleil will set off in search of dream destinations. Sailors will navigate from stage to stage across the course of six months, dropping anchor in especially selected corners of paradise for refreshments and any technical requirements. They will explore the habitats, cultures and flora and fauna of the countries they visit. Six months of adventure and discovery; a journey of a thousand facets!

The departure will take place from La Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime region of France on 15th September. Located around the Bassin des Chalutiers in La Rochelle, the Rally Village will be open to teams, race partners, journalists, families and children as well as the general public. The first stage of this rally will be to reach the volcanic archipelago of Madeira. Crossing the Bay of Biscay will provide an opportunity to test out equipment and teamwork. This will take around a week to navigate, before meeting up with the other participants.


In early October, the whole fleet will leave Madeira and head for Lanzarote, the first port of call in the Canary Islands. After four days in Lanzarote, the boats will be free to explore the Canary Islands archipelago before heading for Tenerife, the last European stage. Participants will then set off for the island of Sal in Cape Verde, to formalise entry regulations. A one-month stopover will enable the sailors to visit some of the islands on this archipelago, such as Boa Vista, Sao Nicolau or Santo Antao. The whole flotilla will then meet up at Mindelo marina on the island of Sao Vicente, the birthplace of Césoria Evora, Cape Verde's famous barefoot singer! This will be the last Atlantic stopover, mostly for refuelling in preparation for the transatlantic crossing and for any team changes.

Depending on individual boats and weather conditions, the Sao Vicente – Salvador da Bahia crossing will take between 12 and 17 days. During this time, competitors will pass through the zone known as The Doldrums, and will cross the equator, perhaps for the very first time.

Travelling up the north-east coast of Brazil is truly an amazing part of this RIDS! After visiting Fortaleza and its magnificent All Saints Bay where sailors will spend a few days relaxing, the fleet will set off for Joao Pessoa. The capital of the state of Paraiba is the easternmost point in the Americas! It will be the departure point for a short navigation to the magical archipelago of Fernando do Noronha (a conservation area also known as Brazil's version of the Galapagos). An incredible port of call where all formalities and regulations will already have been dealt with before the participants arrive. Teams can enjoy diving and hiking amid the backdrop of this exceptionally well-preserved landscape and coastline!


Participants will next set sail for Ilha dos Lençois in the state of Maranhao. This archipelago of islands and islets will be the penultimate stage before approaching the Amazon. With its beautiful unspoilt beaches, sand dunes and mangroves, Ilha dos Lençois is a stunning location whichever way you look at it. Participants will then set sail for Soure on the island of Marajó. The fleet will then be just a stone's throw from Belém, the entrance to the Amazon located around 50 miles to the south.

A fabulous highlight of this Rallye des Iles du Soleil, participants will enjoy a truly amazing adventure as they navigate along the Amazon, the world's most powerful river. With several stops along the journey, as well as navigating through the narrower tributaries of the Amazon, the sailors will have the opportunity to explore this extraordinary natural environment with its lush vegetation, not forgetting the incredible warm welcome from its inhabitants. On leaving Belém, this expedition along the Amazon will be in the form of a compulsory convoy preceded by a guide boat with a speed of 6-6.5 knots. Once the boats pass the Cotijuba lighthouse on the right (starboard), the fleet will head for Sao Sebastiao de Boa Vista then Araras, Portel, Porto do Moz, Almeirim and Novo Horizonte before returning to Afua at the extreme north of the island of Marajo. This town marks the end of the Rallye des Iles du Soleil, after navigating almost 30 days along this legendary river!


Itinerary (note: this itinerary may change depending on authorisation permits)

- Depart from La Rochelle (France)
PS: there may also be a departure from La Ciotat (France) to assemble the Mediterranean fleet together.
- Sail to Madeira (Portugal) - 1300 miles
- Sail to Lanzarote (Canaries - Spain) – 290 miles
- Free navigation around the Canary Islands archipelago
- Tenerife (Canaries - Spain)
- Sail to the island of Sal (Cape Verde) – 800 miles
- Free navigation around the Cape Verde archipelago
- Sail to Mindelo, island of Sao Vicente (Cape Verde)
- Transatlantic crossing
- Sail to Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) – 1980 miles
- Possible navigations in All Saints Bay
- Sail to Joa Pessoa (Brazil) – 450 miles
- Sail to Fernando do Noronha (Brazil) – 240 miles
- Sail to Fortaleza (Brazil) – 360 miles
- Sail to Ilha dos Lençois (Brazil) – 410 miles
- Sail to Soure (Brazil) – 230 miles
- Sail to Belem (Brazil) – 50 miles
- Transamazon voyage including Sao Sebastiao de Boa Vista, Araras, Portel, Lac, Liverpool, Mojui, Macacos, Porto do Moz, Almeirim, Novo Horizonte, Mojui, Serraria and Afua.

Important facts:

Rally departure: Sunday 15 September 2013
Rally village: Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 September 2013
Participants: Open to all
Departure: La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime / France)
Distance to cover: approx. 6,000 miles, i.e. over 11,000 km
Organisation: Grand Pavois Organisation

Organisers look forward to seeing you at the special Rallye des Iles du Soleil corner on the Grand Pavois stand (Hall 1, R62) at the Paris International Boat Show (the Nautic). Visitors can also collect all the information they need, chat with the organisation team, finalise their plan and have their registration approved. Also note that the Rallye des Iles du Soleil will be exhibiting at the Boot Düsseldorf - International Boat Show in Germany from January 19 to 27 Rallye des Iles du Soleil website

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