Tête à l'Anglais, the Canal des Saintes and, finally, the bay of Pointe-à-Pitre … Unless disaster, François Gabart will cross the finish line this Sunday in the evening. With a record crossing the Atlantic to the key (the record is currently held by Loïck Peyron in 7 days, 15 hours and 8 minutes).
"If I'm fine? Yes, I'm fine! Says the skipper of "Macif". On board his Ultimate, Gabart, his hair in battle and the smile on his lips, films his last moments on board. "We're still a little ahead of Francis (Joyon), we'll have to hold on …" The hardest is behind him.
"The race did not look like I imagined"
At the beginning of the week, this 11th Route du Rhum, part of last Sunday of Saint-Malo, which wanted to be historic with 123 engaged and these 6 ultra-fast Ultimas has, by the admission of François Gabart, "changed atmosphere. "The start was great, amazing, the conditions were fabulous," recalls the sailor of "Macif". After the race did not look like I imagined. At the end of the first night, there was damage on Gitana (Sébastien Josse) then a few hours later, the one on Sodebo (Thomas Coville) That there is break on our boats that go very fast, it is normal, that on the six Ultimate engaged, there is one which meets problem, it was almost logical but that it happens so quickly, with these boats, it was surprising. "
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Especially as Tuesday, Armel Le Cléac'h capsized on board "Banque Populaire", transforming the Route du Rhum into a duel, not necessarily balanced, between François Gabart and Francis Joyon whose multihull is devoid of foils.
"I stay focused"
Even if he has had "technical problems", Gabart, really gifted in the offshore race – at 35, he has already won the Vendée Globe, the Transat Jacques Vabre and holds the record around the world in multihulls – will fly the debates. Nevertheless, Saturday, a few hours to add a new line to his record, caution was in order. "It slips well, I stay focused, I do everything to go fast while taking care of the boat to the end, we are never safe from a problem, a time when we advance less quickly. "