After a 24-hour delivery from La Trinité-sur-Mer, Marc Guillemot....
and his crew arrived Friday in Saint-Malo. The Safran monohull is now moored in the Duguay-Trouin basin alongside the other eight competitors in the IMOCA class. It is the beginning of ten days of festivities before the start of the 10th edition of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe on Sunday, November 2 at 1400hrs (French time).
This afternoon in Saint-Malo, while the race village of the Route du Rhum was inaugurated, Safran made her entrance into the old walled city of what was once a pirate's port, in front of the already large crowd. "What a pleasure to be back in Saint-Malo," Guillemot said. "This is my fifth time and yet it's always special to pass through the locks."
The guys on board
To help him do the 245-mile delivery ferry between La Trinité-sur-Mer and Saint-Malo, Guillemot had Morgan Lagravière, Ludovic Aglaor and Alex Marmorat on board. "It's important to be here with my crew, it's a tradition for me. It allows us to have a serious look over the boat and prepare properly for the week in Saint-Malo," the skipper of Safran said. "We might be ready but we always find a way to optimise little things right up until the last minute." Alex Marmorat, the composite specialist on the Safran Sailing Team, said laughing.
A restful delivery before the St Malo fever
In a dozen knots of wind, the delivery was just a formality for the crew, who took full advantage of having a few hours sailing around the coast of Brittany. "The conditions were perfect for a smooth delivery without any risk," Guillemot said. "We saw dolphins at Penmarc'h Point at the start of the night. Then, between Le Conquet and the Chenal du Four, we stayed focused because there are lots of unreported buoys. I also used the time to rest."
With nine days to the start, Guillemot seems completely calm but he also knows he will have to look after himself, keep some time to himself and focus on the race during a week that promises to be busy. "The demands are part of the event," he says. "For a few days, all the spotlights are turned on our beautiful sport. So, we have to enjoy it, find the right balance and not use up too much energy." Between the briefings, talking to the press and meeting the project sponsors and partners, the skipper of Safran will spend a few days in La Trinité-sur-Mer at the start of the week. "Before the start of a race I find it really hard to stop," he says. "I'll do a bit of weather and of course I'll go to Lorient, to the boatyard of the new Safran monohull. I find it reassuring not to change my habits. I have to keep active."
Marc Guillemot's schedule in Saint-Malo
Saturday, October 25
1800hrs: Official presentation of the 91 skippers (at the Fosse aux Lions – Saint-Malo intra-muros)
Sunday, October 26
1530: Signature signing session on the Safran stand (Duguay-Trouin quay, in front of the Safran monohull).
Wednesday, October 29
1630: Signature signing session on the Safran stand (Duguay-Trouin quay, in front of the Safran monohull).
Thursday, October 30
1400: Skippers' briefing on the race and safety instructions
1800: Press conference at Hotel L'Univers (Saint-Malo intra-muros)
Saturday, November 1
1100: Weather briefing
Sunday, November 2
1400: Start of the 10th edition of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe