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Saint-Malo is getting ready to celebrate La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

by Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 23 Oct 2022 12:10 PDT 6 November 2022
La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe © Alexis Courcoux

From Tuesday the 25th October the historic start town of Saint Malo, in the heart of the Brittany region, will welcome more than 138 boats which are set to compete on the 12th edition of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe.

This globally renowned solo Transatlantic Race is a sporting event which would be nothing without the popular shoreside festival that the City of Saint-Malo and the race organizers OC Sport Pen Duick set up for each edition. There is a huge, free village, open to all, designed to welcome the fleet and their skippers to the city and offer visitors a huge range of educational, entertaining and inspiring activities in a program that will delight young and old. The 'Corsair City' is preparing to keep up the party atmosphere for a full 13 days before the race start.

Here is the key practical information for visitors, and prospective visitors to Saint-Malo.

A free village open to all which is tailored more to improving the comfort and ergonomics for visitors

In fact the site has been busy since the first contractors arrived at the end of September, setting up the village for this edition, under the ramparts of the City of Saint-Malo. It is all free and open to all, it will open its doors on Tuesday, October 25 at 1400hrs local time. This year, above all the huge space has been designed around the comfort, enjoyment and wellbeing of visitors, built across in a larger space.

Among these new points are:

  • An increase in the number of entry and exit points (7 compared to 4 in 2018) to facilitate access and comfort for visitors of all ages.
  • A village area without music from 11:00 to 12:00 each day
  • Accessible to people with reduced mobility: shuttles and reduced mobility car parks will be available as well as clear passages at the entrances and exits of the village allowing more fluid circulation.
  • It will also be possible to scan around thirty different QR codes spread over the village to listen to descriptive audio content about the race.
  • A rest area for less able people has also been marked out in the courtyard of the Château (Saint-Malo Town Hall - Place Chateaubriand).

This new system benefits from enhanced security and signage for better circulation within it.

There are more than 200 exhibitors spread over around 30 halls ensuring the choice for the public promises to comprehensive. Between the 1,000m2 pavilion of the islands of Guadeloupe, that of La Région Bretagne and the City of Saint-Malo, in partnership with Saint-Malo Agglomeration, there will be no shortage of entertainment. Main partner of the race the banking group CIC along with all the major partners, suppliers and licensees of the race as well as the companies involved alongside the skippers, have prepared great stands and exhibitions throughout halls at the Saint-Vincent, Saint-Louis and Bourse quays.

The official inauguration, in the presence of all the partners of the race, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m.

Thirteen days of entertainment: Summary of the highlights that promise a great party

From October 25 at 4:35 p.m., the arrivals parade of boats will begin in front of the port of Saint-Malo, before entering the locks of the port to be visible to all within the Vauban and Duguay Trouin basins. And the dock ins should be a spectacle, weather permitting.

  • October 25 at 4:35 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 6:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.: the Ultim 32/23 and the Ocean Fifty will start their parades and enter the docks
  • 26 October at 5.12 p.m., 6.12 p.m. and 7.12 p.m it is the IMOCAs which will put on their show;
  • October 28 at 8:36 am and 9:36 am: the Class40s will be out for a parade loop.
  • On October 29 at 9:12 a.m. and 10:12 a.m., it will be the turn of Rhum Mono and Rhum Multi to got out and provide visitors a chance to see the boats in their 'natural habitat' on the water.

Free spectator galleries are open to all set to allow as many people as possible (within the limit of available seats) to come and watch the show. This new initiative has been established along with Brittany Region and the City of Saint-Malo have along with the expertise of sports and event management by OC Sport Pen Duick. It has been a long time project to deliver this unique experience.

On Friday, October 28, a conference day on the theme "Engaged Ocean" is to be organized at the Auditorium of the Palais du Grand Large with the Surfrider foundation from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Several skippers will participate as will many other speakers.

These conferences are totally free, however registration is mandatory:

Download the detailed program.

That same day from 7:30 p.m., the Saint-Malo based singer Broken Back will give a free concert on the Main Stage in the heart of the village.

Among the other highlights, the official presentation of the skippers will take place on Sunday October 30 from 5 p.m. on the Main Stage in the village. Hosted by Gaëlle Millon and Serge Herbin, this "event within the event" will muster the entire line-up of this 12th edition, known or less known sailors, professionals or amateurs who will share details of their projects and their dreams. A moment of sharing with the Saint-Malo public before taking the start.

The organization has also worked hard to prepare the departure of the boats which will use the famous locks during carefully timed departures scheduled between Friday 4 November afternoon and Sunday 6 in the early morning. There are a total of twelve locks which will be used by the monohulls and multihulls. The free and open stands will be accessible again to allow all those who wish to admire the boats for the last time, before they head off to Guadeloupe

  • Friday, November 4: the Ultim 32/23 will be released at 2:08 p.m., 3:08 p.m. and 4:08 p.m.
  • Saturday 5 November: the Rhum Multi and Rhum Mono will leave at 07:39 and 08:39, the Ocean Fifty will leave the basins at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., the IMOCAs will leave at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 6 November, start day the 55 Class40s will pass through the locks in two channels, at 6:00 am and 7:00 am.

Another new feature for this 2022 edition will be the giant Ferris wheel installed in Saint-Malo which has found its perfect position at the entrance to the village of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe and will be able to offer all those who wish it an extraordinary panorama over the whole village but especially over the basins filled with the race boats. The CIC Le Télégramme Ferris wheel will be partially fueled by hydrogen, the latter coming from the Energy Observer exhibition village.

All this program is possible thanks to the energy of all and particularly to the faithful support of the SNBSM (Société Nautique de la Baie de Saint-Malo) who with 400 volunteers this year assist the teams of OC Sport Pen Duick and the city to make these thirteen days a memorable one.

Details of the events can be found on the race website,, and the official mobile application can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok accounts will allow you to follow the life of the village as well as the race.

How to get to the village of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe

Download the detailed map of the village and the basins.

The race village will be open:

  • October 25, 26, 28, 29, 30 and 31 as well as November 4 and 5: opening at night, from 10 am to 10 pm.
  • October 27, 28 and 30 as well as November 1 and 2: from 10 am to 8 pm.
  • On November 6, the start day of the race, the village will remain open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Car, train, bicycle... so many ways to allow all visitors to take part in this great celebration. Four car parks (paying) for vehicles will be available and will give access to shuttles to the village of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe. A shuttle will serve the stops, the car parks of the Hippodrome Féval and Paramé, every 15 minutes, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The city of Saint-Malo's bus network will also serve Rocabey and Louis Martin. For electric cars, rechargeable terminals will be made available by the Official Emeraude Solaire Supplier at the Parking Relais Paul Féval. StadiumGO, partner of the event, offers a carpooling solution for journeys to the village.

By train, thanks to the partnership forged with the SNCF, it will be possible to reach the Cité Corsaire by direct connection by TGV from Paris and by TER from Rennes. Up to 17 TER will run daily between Rennes and Saint-Malo and return trains will be available until 10:30 p.m. The village is a 10-minute walk from Saint-Malo train station.

For cyclists, the bike remains a preferred means of transport, dedicated bike parks will be installed at each of the entrances to the village.

All the information to come:

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