Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Route du Rhum: Catherine Chabaud has double reason to celebrate after Rhum Mono Class Second Place

by La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 29 Nov 2022 08:42 PST 29 November 2022

On the eve of her 60th birthday, sailing the famous 'Cigar Rouge' - the boat on which she became the first woman to complete the Vendée Globe in 1996/7 - Catherine Chabaud completed a successful, popular return to ocean racing when she finished the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe in second place in the Rhum Mono class.

The only woman competing in the class - and one of seven in the race - Chabaud crossed the finish line at 23:33:43hrs Monday evening 28/11/2022, 2d 20h 20m and 52s after the class winner Jean Pierre Dick on his modern, faster Verdier designed 54-footer Notre Mediterranêe-Ville de Nice.

Upset by the amount of pollution and debris in the oceans, Chabaud halted her prolific ocean racing career in the early 90s to 'find solutions'. She became an environmental campaigner starting and popularising many different initiatives. Her return to the Route du Rhum - unfinished business since abandoning in 1998 - is prompted by the support of a French business school in helping promote her 'Ocean As Common' programme, which takes messages to major sporting and economic platforms.

Before the start in Saint-Malo she said, "I stopped competing in the early 1990s after seeing the amount of waste at sea. For the last 20 years what has interested me is talking about solutions." She has become a European Commission deputy minister since 2019, a specialist adviser to the French ministry for social and environmental economics and writes widely on sustainable and environmental topics.

Chabaud finished sixth on the 1996/97 Vendee Globe and was dismasted on the next edition. This was her fifteenth Atlantic crossing, and her fifth race including two The Transats and one Mini Transat. Her famous slender ketch rigged 60-footer - nearly 2m narrower than Alan Gautier's Bagages Superior - was designed in 1991 by Philippe Harlé for Jean Luc Van Den Heede. Finishing into Gaudeloupe last night her boat is the perfect counterpoint to Dick's design which is the ultimate fast modern racer cruiser.

"I'm happy to be here. I enjoy these times at sea. I love of all that it teaches me and it is absolutely wonderful," she said on the eve of her finish into Pointe-à-Pitre. "I am absolutely horrified to sail through sargassum (weed) fields. They are really everywhere it was really mind-blowing. When you think that all this is going to wash up on the beaches of the West Indies or the Caribbean, it's really scary. And we would like to really know and understand why this is happening."

Exhausted but happy, Chabaud was given a big welcome on the dock, where she took the time to talk. "I'm exhausted, really tired. I have rarely been to this point of exhaustion before. Maybe you can't be an MEP and a sailor! Physically I have suffered but you just don't have the choice out there, you have to do your manoeuvres. You drive yourself with your head. Today you had to keep pressing with gusts to 35kts right into the Saintes channel. You have to reef when you need to you have to keep your head in the game until the end.

"And a podium? Yes! Yes, Jean-Pierre and I had faster boats, but I don't think we sailed too badly. I'd like to thank Eric Mas who did my weather routing. Maybe not when I had three reefs in a storm maybe that bit was not so good, but it did not last long. Meantime it is good to challenge yourself. Our children age us quicky and so it is good to go out there and remind them what we are capable of." Read more from Chabaud here.

Third place in the Rhum Mono class went to the solo skipper from La Rochelle Wilfred Clerton (Cap au Cap Location) whose elapsed time is 19 days 22 hours 11 minutes and 45 seconds, 3 days 8 hours 13 minutes and 54 seconds after Jean-Pierre Dick.

Fourth in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in 2014 and fifth in 2018, Clerton sails the 1980 Maury design which was Kriter 8, a renowned upwind performer. He took a very north and westerly option early in the race and led for a time. "My objective is very clear: to be on the podium and to win," he said at the time, and now he is rewarded with a good third.

After 20 days of racing, 90 solo skippers have now finished the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, with 28 abandonments and 20 still racing. Swiss sailor Oliver Heer (Oliver Heer Ocean Racing) is ticking off his final miles, with around 85nm to go to the finish to wrap up the IMOCA race, while there are 5 skippers left in the Class40, 5 in the Rhum Multi and 9 in the Rhum Mono.

Related Articles

Rhum Multi and Rhum Mono Classes decided
Loic Escoffier wins Rhum Multi, Roland Jourdain denied hat trick by engine seal penalty Friday night into Saturday's early hours The Memorial ACTe, Pointe-à-Pitre's proud, giant structure which is dedicated to the history, heritage and memories of the Caribbean slave trade, saw the busiest spell yet of finishers completing the 12th edition. Posted on 26 Nov 2022
Loïc Escoffier wins the Rhum Multi class
Penalty for Roland Jourdain as he had a broken lead seal on his boat Loïc Escoffier (Lodigroup) who crossed the finish line second has been declared winner of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in the Rhum Multi division. Posted on 25 Nov 2022
Roland Jourdain finishes first in Rhum Multi class
Rhum Mono winner expected Saturday French skipper Roland Jourdain (We Explore) finished first in the Rhum Multihull class in the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe when he crossed the finish line at 19:06:00hrs UTC (Friday 25th November). Posted on 25 Nov 2022
Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe day 16
Sunshine stories prevail with the odd dark cloud On the 16th day of the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe there are still seven IMOCA solo skippers to finish, whilst by midday today, Thursday 24 November, there were seven Class40s finished with 30 still on the race course and 18 abandoned. Posted on 24 Nov 2022
Rhum Multi Class leader Gilles Buekenhout capsizes
The Belgian skipper is on board and reported that he is not injured At 1920hrs this Wednesday, November 23, the race management of the 12th edition of La Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe received a message from CROSS Antilles to tell them that Gilles Buekenhout (JESS) had triggered his distress beacon. Posted on 24 Nov 2022
Beccaria finishes second Class 40 in Route du Rhum
A hard-earned place for the Italian in the highly competitive 55 boat fleet Italian skipper Ambrogio Beccaria brought his 100% Italian made Alla Grande-Pirelli across the finish line of the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe at 2038hrs UTC to take a hard earned second place in the highly competitive 55 boat Class40. Posted on 23 Nov 2022
Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe update
Yoann Richomme does the double, winning Class40 for the second time French skipper Yoann Richomme joined the very elite group of solo ocean racers to have twice won their class on the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe today, with a win in the Class40 from a record entry of 55 boats. Posted on 23 Nov 2022
Flurry of finishes for international skippers
In Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe IMOCA class The notorious final miles around Guadeloupe, negotiating a minefield of calms and light winds whilst significantly underpowered because of a hole in her mainsail, proved a cruel sting in the tail for Briton Pip Hare (Medallia). Posted on 23 Nov 2022
Swiss skipper Justine Mettraux top female
Finishing seventh IMOCA in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe Swiss skipper Justine Mettraux ( took seventh place in the IMOCA class when she crossed the finish line of the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe at 02:41:35 UTC this morning, 22 November. Posted on 22 Nov 2022
Podium complete in IMOCA class
Route du Rhum-Destination Guadaloupe update Thomas Ruyant, solo skipper of LinkedOut, was unofficially crowned 'King of the Transats' when he won the 38 boat IMOCA class on the 12th Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. Posted on 21 Nov 2022
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERMackay Boats 728x90 BOTTOMPredictWind - GPS 728x90 BOTTOM