With 48 hours to go before the start of the 12th Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, the skipper of the Arkema Ocean Fifty is beginning to look ahead to the start and the first few hours of the race. With daily weather updates with his routing team (Eric Mas, Alex Pella and Lalou Roucayrol), maximum rest, final meetings with the media, just like a high-flying pilot or a super-G skier, Quentin is now getting inside his ocean racer's bubble, especially since the start at 1:02 pm on Sunday 6 November promises to be tough-going...
“I feel good, I'm happy to be here on the other side of the fence. Partners and co-workers come to see the boat. This ambiance in Saint-Malo is really cool. The boat is ready, we could set off now. I'm taking the time to do the final checks; I'm sleeping well, I sleep for 9-10 hours. Everything’s textbook stuff!” Quentin says.
This Friday however, the pace is picking up. So as not to pile on any more pressure, the Arkema skipper and his backing team have seen fit to “dive” into the weather forecast as late as possible.
We started seriously studying the weather last night and thought that was enough as there's no point in devising scenarios too far in advance. One thing is certain, it will be tough-going”
“A good whack in the Bay of Biscay”
On land, Eric Mas, Alex Pella and Lalou Roucayrol will assist Quentin Vlamynck throughout the course of the race and provide him with weather data (routing is permitted and essential for safety). They are already starting to picture more specifically the weather at the start and for the first 24 hours of the race.
Having sailed in a multihull four times in the Route du Rhum, Lalou Roucayrol declares: “It’s going to be a mighty start! The forecast is for 20 knots of south-westerly wind, which will gradually build up to 25-30 knots on Sunday around the tip of Brittany. What’s certain is that they’re all going to get a good whack in the Bay of Biscay, with a powerful front and heavy seas with 5 to 6 meter waves. What happens next is not yet clear, but it looks tricky and devilishly interesting.”
At anchor tomorrow, waiting for the start…
To ensure the 138 boats make their way out of the harbour in good order, the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe race directors have laid down a precise sequence for the boats to go through the locks.
Tomorrow, Saturday, the 8 Ocean Fifty boats will leave the Duguay-Trouin basin pontoon to enter the locks between 1pm and 3pm and then moor outside Dinard.
“Preparer Corentin and boat captain Raphaël will keep watch on board before I join them on Sunday morning and get ready for the off at 1:02 pm. This whole phase before the starting gun is actually the most stressful. Once the starting line is behind me, I'll be free,” confesses Quentin Vlamynck who, despite the prospect of rough weather for his first transatlantic race in a multihull, seems composed and totally ready...