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Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022: A potent cocktail combining all the key fundamentals

by Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 8 Dec 2021 06:54 PST 6 November 2022

In 11 months' time, on the 6th of November 2022, the 12th edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe will see one of the most exciting ocean racing fleets ever assemble on the Saint-Malo start line. The six competing classes of solo sailors will race a course between Saint-Malo and Guadeloupe which is unchanged since the first edition in 1978.

This most popular solo race, known as the Queen of the Transats, is expected to once again welcome a huge number of visitors to the 'Corsair City' between the opening day of the race village on October 25th and the race start. This pre-start festival period will see the intrepid solo skippers take every chance to meet with public visitors over an extended build-up period that will be complemented by the warmth of the welcome in Guadeloupe as race organisers OC Sport Pen Duick look to introduce a series of new innovations to enhance the visitors' and race followers' experience on what promises to be a vintage 2022 edition.

Ultimes up close, all in the same docks

Since joining the Route du Rhum in 2010, the giant Ultimes have been required to moor off Saint Malo beside the ferry terminal at the Bourse. Now, following extended discussions and careful planning between the Ultime class and OC Sport Pen Duick, the Ultimes will now dock with the other fleets in the main basins to ensure visitors will be able to walk round and see the entire fleet between the two basins. The Ultimes will join the fleet of 8 Ocean Fifty, 25 Imoca, 55 Class40, 12 Rhum Mono and 12 Rhum Multi in the Vauban and Duguay-Trouin basins. All the boats will be grouped together along the iconic quaysides just adjacent to Intra-Muros (the ancient walled city) and the Palais du Grand Large.

A big, super colourful XXL village open for longer

From October 25th to November 6th, 2022, Saint-Malo will come alive to the vibrant colours of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe with an 'XXL' village. Open for one day more than in 2018, the entire race village area will occupy an area of 70,000m2 in the immediate vicinity of the basins, some 15% bigger than the previous edition in 2018. Including team stands, spaces for the public, media and partner spaces, this lively race hub is always immersed with an extraordinary, unique energy which inspires racers, teams, and visitors alike. The 2022 village will distil all the magic of a fine rum, delivering a unique and unforgettable experience which is set to be better than ever due to improved flow and an enhanced visitor offering.

That experience will continue upon finishing as the islands of Guadeloupe welcome sailors with great enthusiasm over fifteen days of colourful festivities. These will take place mainly around the ACTe Memorial, a though provoking and popular gathering point for sailors, the media, and the public during the finishes.

Pre-start parades to show off the boats

New for 2022 will be pre-start parades of sail which should give visitors a clear vision of the size and scope of the fleet as viewed from Saint Malo's ramparts and the shore. Each class will have a day dedicated to their parade, introducing the fleet class by class, which will add to the atmosphere. And again, after the finishes, there will be parades against the beautiful panorama of the Guadeloupe islands.

A renewed visual identity, 'pop and colourful'

The Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022 welcomes a new visual and a new graphic identity mixing a 'pop spirit' and vibrant colours. The poster is based on the strong elements of the race: the black and white bands representing elements of the Brittany and Saint-Malo regional identities as well as the sunny hues of Guadeloupe. And the multitude of sails of different sizes evokes the diversity of the sports field which will take on the mythical course. This new signature of the race will be incorporated on all communication materials.

Partners already at work

Long-time supporters of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe - some who have been engaged with the race for many years as well as many new partners who have been on board for only a few months - are all united to contribute to building a successful, unforgettable 2022 edition. At the forefront are the Exclusive Major Partner the Region of Guadeloupe, the City of Saint-Malo, Brittany region and CIC, who are Main partners. All are now hard at work to offer sailors and the public a great welcome, and a race which is truly engaging in every aspect.

Meantime Virtual Regatta are offering sailors, professional or amateur, to jump back 43 years and take the start of the 1978 edition of the event, aboard the famous little yellow trimaran on which Mike Birch made history. With identical technical conditions, the reference time of 23 days 6 hours 59 minutes and 35 seconds is the target to be beaten.

They said:

Joseph Bizard, General Manager of OC Sport Pen Duick:

"After the opening of entries last July, this presentation now is the second part of the deployment of the next edition of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe. This is an important moment for us organizers and all the stakeholders who are working on the planning. We are delighted to unveil this program, joined by our partners who themselves share this desire to innovate, for sailors and for the public.

These parades over the first week of the village are fully in line with our wish to give pride of place to sailors and their formidable boats, by promoting them in the setting of Saint-Malo, by showing them to the public, at the quay and in navigation. The opportunity for an additional activation to help this event grow. The larger 2022 village will offer an exceptional place for all those involved in the race, incredible experiences and magical moments... as is always the case with the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe!"

Ary Chalus, President of the Guadeloupe region:

"The changes and new aspects of the 12th edition of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022, presented this year as part of the Nautic boat show, will result in a new visual and a new graphic identity, highlighting our destination Guadeloupe.

Between the foundations of the event and new innovations, the ambition displayed here is to bring together nautical and economic players, in order to unite an active business network around the blue economy and the green economy, on the occasion of this event. We all know that the health crisis has had a heavy impact on our lifestyles, just like the life of our businesses. What could be better than the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022 to allow us to revitalize the activity and give visibility to the entire entrepreneurial fabric. We therefore approach this edition as a catalyst of energy and opportunities to inflate the sails of economic and tourist recovery ".

Gilles Lurton, Mayor of Saint-Malo and President of Saint-Malo Agglomeration:

"The countdown has started and on November 6th, 2022, dozens of boats will be launched from the Pointe du Grouin bound for Guadeloupe. For this next edition, I would like everyone to feel involved in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe; Saint-Malo residents, traders, entrepreneurs and the visitors that we receive in the hundreds of thousands. The Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe is a major international event in the world of sailing and sport. It's a unique experience! We are all mobilized to make this major event a great success. Saint-Malo is proud to have the privilege of being the home port of the Route du Rhum since 1978 ".

Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of the Brittany region:

"After two difficult nautical seasons, sometimes without any public on the pontoons, the year 2022 promises to be auspicious with, I hope, an exceptional race start on November 6th for the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe!

As a partner of the event, the Region, owner of the port, plays an active role. As of now, its teams are mobilizing to provide the spaces for everyone in Saint-Malo so that the skippers, their staff and the public can be welcomed in the best conditions and in complete safety, at the foot of the ramparts. Beyond that, the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe conveys values important to Brittany, which I share with those in the nautical sector; effort and excellence. This legendary race has always inspired dreams, made people want to go to sea and allowed companies in the sector to be highlighted. Because let us remember, the majority of the boats lined up at the start are the result of know-how and technologies designed and developed in Brittany Sailing Valley.

As for the high-level athletes who, in less than a year, will take the start, I would like to encourage them today and salute them for the extraordinary human adventure that they are about to bring us on. We owe it to them, we Britons, to welcome them well before they set off!"

Daniel Baal, Director General of CIC:

"The CIC is teaming up with the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, a truly legendary race, for the next two editions in 2022 and 2026. A solo transatlantic is an event that goes beyond sporting prowess. Around it, everyone from the sea is mobilized and becomes a regional economic player. The bridges between sport, businesses, institutions, and the public make the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe an essential economic event for a bank like CIC, which works alongside all of these players. Our commitment with the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, legendary single-handed transatlantic race, is logical as the similarities are numerous: seniority, strength of innovation, promotion of values of excellence, taste for controlled risk and the ability to adapt to a changing world. "

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