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Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2018: follow Lalou Roucayrol on the Multi50 Arkema

Find the latest news on the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in which Lalou Roucayrol, skipper of the Multi50 Arkema trimaran, is taking part.


As of 9 am Monday 12 November, 7 days and 20 hours into the race, Armel Tripon, the Réauté Chocolat skipper, is still in the lead, 1340 miles from the finish line. Nantes-born Armel has even consolidated his lead over Thibault Vauchel Camus and his Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP trimaran, to 271 miles.

In 3rd position comes Gilles Lamiré at the helm of La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo. Lamballe-born Gilles is now 332 miles behind the leader, just ahead of Erwan Le Roux and his Fenêtréa Mix Buffet, 356 miles behind Tripon.

Lalou Roucayrol is in 5th position, 413 miles from the leader on whom he gained 200 miles in three days. This is still a significant gap, but Lalou is keeping up. From the 5 Multi50 boats, his has covered the longest distance in the last 24 hours: 435 miles, or 800 km, which shows how well the Arkema trimaran is making headway.


Just now Lalou has been clocking up over 19 knots, his course being the most Southern of his fleet, ready to make the most of the best trade winds. “For as long as you haven’t crossed the finish line, there’s always a chance to make a move”, the highly experienced skipper was saying yesterday in his last radio session.


The victory of Francis Joyon is a prime example of this. The Idec Sport skipper came out on top last night after a breathtaking finale. He prevailed over François Gabart’s Macif Ultime after sailing round the island of Guadeloupe when the two skippers fought an epic battle. In the end, Joyon crossed the finish line first at 11.20 pm local time, after racing for 7 days 14 hours and 21 minutes (a new record). Gabart crossed the finish line 7 minutes and 8 seconds later!


Latest provisional Multi50 ranking in this 11th Route du Rhum: by 9 am Friday 9 November, 4 days and 20 hours into the race, Thibault Vauchel Camus, the skipper of Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP, is still in the lead of the Multi50 fleet. St-Malo-born Thibault has even increased his lead over Erwan Le Roux and his Fenetrea Mix-Buffet, now 178 miles behind.

Armel Tripon is next with a 181 mile gap on Réauté Chocolat. He is sailing alongside the leading IMOCA monohulls on the edge of the high-pressure zone, between Madeira and the Canary Islands, in rising trade winds. 

In 4th position comes Gilles Lamiré at the helm of La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo. Cancale-born Gilles is now 189 miles behind the leading boat.


Lalou Roucayrol is in 5th position, 600 miles from the leader. He has moved up one place in the ranking, while Thierry Bouchard’s Ciela Village has suffered damage and so has to stop over in Lisbon for repairs.

Meanwhile Lalou is heading due South off the coast of Morocco, skirting around the area. Médoc-born Lalou is progressing at speed, at 19 knots, on calmer seas that whet the appetite. So, what better than Saint-Vivien beef and bottarga from the island of Groix to keep in tip-top shape! Goes down a treat!



08/11/18 :

After setting off from Porto early yesterday morning, the Multi50 Arkema skipper unfortunately had to contend with a zone of dead calm, with no wind or too little wind to make any decent progress.
So, South-Westerly winds of barely 4-5 knots forced the Arkema skipper to tack for several hours, before picking up stronger winds in the course of the night.


This morning Lalou continues to head due South off the coast of Portugal at a faster pace, clocking up close to 17 knots earlier on off Cape Saint Vincent, Europe’s most south-westerly point. Later on, Lalou has talked about a “somewhat radical option” that would involve trying to follow a course “around the South” to then pick up favorable trade winds.




Lalou Roucayrol and Arkema are back in the race! The skipper left the port of Porto just after 7 am French time.

Latest provisional ranking at 10 am on Wednesday 7 November, 2 days and 20 hours into the race:

Thibault Vauchel Camus, skipper of Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP, is in the lead in the Multi50 class. St-Malo-born Thibault is 20 miles ahead of Gilles Lamiré at the helm of La French Tech Rennes Saint-Malo.

25 miles behind are Erwan Le Roux and his Fenetrea Mix-Buffet. Armel Tripon is next with a 36 mile gap on his Réauté Chocolat.

Thierry Bouchard and his Ciela Village are in 5th position in the provisional ranking, 52 miles from the leader.

Armel Tripon pulled off a fine coup when he decided to head South and managed to haul himself away from the Portuguese coast.

Lalou Roucayrol, the other Multi50 skipper who also opted for a southern course, will have his work cut out to get his Arkema trimaran back in the game as he is now 285 miles behind.


That said, we should not focus on the official rankings at this point in time as these are computed from a direct course, which mathematically favors the boats in a Northern position. It is with renewed energy that Lalou has now left the port of Porto where he had decided to stop over to escape the storm raging over this zone of the Atlantic Ocean.


Team Manager Fabienne Roucayrol explains the choices made by the Team:

“We decided to stop as we thought it was best for the race. If it had put Lalou’s performance possibilities in jeopardy, we wouldn’t have done it. In fact, we had a choice of spending 15 h in the storm, with the risk of damage this entails, or seek shelter. And we decided the latter was the better option of the two. Not take excessive risks but instead guarantee the race.

Admittedly, Lalou is now at the back of the ranking, but he has been able to rest and the boat is intact. Physically, the others must have spent a great deal of energy to sail under those conditions. So yes, Lalou knows he’ll have to catch up, and that’s what he will try to do by giving his all. There’re still 2,800 miles (over 5,000 km) until Point-à-Pitre. There’s still a long way to go.”




At the head of the Multi50 fleet in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, Lalou Roucayrol chose to seek shelter for his Arkema trimaran in the port of Porto, given the weather conditions.

1 day and some 20 hrs into the race, Thierry Bouchard at the helm of Ciela Village now leads the provisional ranking. Next is Thibault Vauchel Camus, skipper of Solidaires en Peloton ARSEP. The gaps between the boats are small. The bulk of the fleet are sailing further North, following the most direct course. Lalou, like Armel Tripon, skipper of Réauté Chocolat, are quite further South, off the coast of Portugal.


Team Manager Fabienne Roucayrol explains the decision to head for Porto:

“What we decided last night with Lalou is to have a brief stopover in Porto in Portugal, to ride out the brewing storm. We want to protect man and machine, we’d rather sit tight during the storm. And we’ll be off again as soon as the conditions revert to reasonable.

We have known for a while that this storm was on its way. We didn’t know precisely how powerful it would be, or its exact course, but as days went by, the picture became clearer. And the scenario of a stopover had been discussed at length beforehand.”




Good start for Lalou in this 11th Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe. The Arkema skipper has made sparks fly from the foils of his trimaran! 20 hours into the race, he is in the lead among the Multi50 flotilla.


A race against the clock is well and truly underway, with a storm brewing as the boats enter the Bay of Biscay. A storm stretching over some 2,000 km from A Coruña in Spain to Ireland with winds in excess of 100 km/h and 8 meter high waves!

Watch the start of the race

Follow Lalou Roucayrol’s position in real time

Use the module below to follow the progress of Lalou Roucayrol and the other skippers in the race.

Select the "Multi50" category under the "Skippers" tab.

Facebook Live on 31st October, with Lalou Roucayrol

Just a few days from the start of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, Lalou Roucayrol replied to questions from web surfers in a Facebook live stream on Wednesday 31st October (interview in French).


Intense preparation

Lalou Roucayrol and the Team have been preparing for a long time for this 2018 edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe race: physical and mental preparation, as well as preparation of the boat, with new improvements since the previous season.


Watch these videos to find out about the various aspects of this preparation.


“We have done everything to be in the best possible conditions for this Route du Rhum”


“It’s the race that gave me a passion for multihull boats and for making a career of it”


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