POINTE –A- PITRE, Guadeloupe – The 12th edition of the ‘Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe’ sailing race is set to cast off with numerous festive activities at the port of departure in Saint-Malo, France this week.
An expected 138 competitors will set sail from the historic port of Saint-Malo in Brittany, France, on November 6 at 1:02 p.m. Central European Time. For the first time, the Route du Rhum will see seven Guadeloupean skippers taking part.
Established in 1978, the event takes place every four years and is one of the leading transatlantic single-handed races in the world. It is open to a variety of monohull and multihull classes up to the IMOCA 60s category. Skippers will sail alone, crossing the Atlantic to Guadeloupe over a period of up to one month.
The race will culminate at Guadeloupe’s Mémorial Acte, a landmark at the bay of Pointe-à-Pitre that acknowledges the history of the slave trade that once took place along the same route.
While the racers will have their own adventure at sea, spectators, family and friends will get to explore Route du Rhum Village, an event space of 75,000 square meters (about 750,000 sqft). More than two million visitors are expected at the Village in Saint-Malo from the opening on October 25 at 5 p.m. through November 6.
Across the Atlantic, another Route du Rhum Village will open in Guadeloupe on November 11, when the first winners of the transatlantic sailing race are expected to arrive, through December 4, spanning the estimated time period for the arrival of the entire fleet.
The Route du Rhum Villages will feature boutiques, restaurants and special activities and events, including:
- A pop-up shop in Saint-Malo,Terres de Guadeloupe, promoting products from the Islands of Guadeloupe;
- Arts and entertainment programming in Saint-Malo;
- The Trophée des Saintoises, bringing together skippers from the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe and Guadeloupean sailors, during a road show throughout the Islands of Guadeloupe from November 12 to 20, 2022;
- Live entertainment throughout the Islands of Guadeloupe, in cooperation with the local authorities and the Territory’s communities in Basse Terre, Grande Terre, Marie Galante, La Désirade and Les Saintes.
The region council of Guadeloupe, together with its partners and the event organizer OC Sport, aims to revitalize Guadeloupe’s post-COVID economy with the multi-week event.
Ary Chalus, president of the regional council of Guadeloupe, said:
“The largest nautical event in the world is a source of pride for us. We hope that, as in the last edition, we will have great economic benefits. Especially after what we have been through: the COVID crisis, the passage of storm Fiona. We will do everything to make this event a great success.”