Route du Rhum, it’s on! North course or south course? The live VIDEO of the departure

Sortie des IMOCA aux écluses – Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe 2022 – Saint Malo le 08/11/2022

The big day for the start of Route du Rhum 2022 has arrived, at 2:15 p.m. the first signal will be given for the start and the 138 skippers in the race will take off for this nearly 3,500-mile transatlantic that promises to be an epic edition. As many as four Italians are in the regatta, ready to have their say in a fleet that for the top 10 in the rankings promises to be ultra-competitive. Ambrogio Beccaria, Andrea Fornaro and Alberto Bona will race among the Class 40s, Giancarlo Pedote among the Imoca 60s.

Route du Rhum – Live coverage of the departure

Below is a video with the numbers of this event, analysis of the weather situation that the racing skippers will face in the first delicate 48 hours.

The numbers of a cult regatta

Route du Rhum – The weather scenarios of a tough start

The difference of today’s departure from the original Nov. 6 departure is that strategic options can be taken to manage the depression front that skippers will find almost immediately in their path. A decisive difference between a start in “race” mode, with more or less risky and advantageous tactical choices, and one in “survival” mode (as it would have been on Nov. 6), with no options except to suffer bad weather. However, the wind will be very strong from the southwest, with a minimum base of 30 knots, stronger to the north with gusts estimated at 50-60 knots, more manageable to the south.

A straight west course toward the front, aiming to cross it, will allow after its passage to enter a west-northwest wind rotation. Those who choose this option, which is riskier because they expose themselves to much stronger winds, will be able to enter the west-northwest flow first that is beyond the front, and by turning will enter the first “highway” that will begin to ferry the fleet southward with a likely passage north of the Azores and away from the anticyclone.

route du rhum
The 24h weather forecast, you can see the positioning of the front and how beyond that the wind starts to rotate from the southwest to the west.

The more southerly route, on the other hand, will provide more manageable conditions in the first phase, but strategically appears less convenient because after the front it guarantees a less favorable angle to the wind and with less intensity. The decision on which option to take will then be up to the skippers, mostly based on their beliefs and what wind and wave strengths they intend to face before finding easier conditions beyond the front. Instead, the good news seems to be that, as the Azores Anticyclone has reformed, the Trade Wind to the south is reforming quite robustly and the second half of the regatta is looking fast.

Mauro Giuffrè

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