They are 123 boats in six categories : “small” monohulls Class40 (40 feet long, or more than 12 metres) to the giants of the class Ultimate (up to 32 metres). All would start Sunday, November 4, Saint-Malo, at the assault of Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. For its eleventh edition since 1978, the Route du rhum does not know the midlife crisis. On the contrary, there has never been so much skippeurs to beat the record for crossing the Atlantic alone held by Loïck Peyron, seven days, fifteen hours, eight minutes and thirty-two seconds, achieved in 2014.
Is that the racing has never been so popular. With the Vendée Globe, the Route du rhum attracts hundreds of thousands of onlookers for the start in Britain, but also to the arrival in Guadeloupe. “And it is an economy healthy and growing,” says Carole Bourlon, head of the sailing competition of the cluster Eurolarge Innovation funded by the Britain.
In this region, the turnover of this industrial sector in full development is approximately 56 million euro and a little over 700 jobs, with a growth rate flirting with 10 %. On average, the 165 companies in the industry invest 5.5 million euros per year of their revenue in research and development. “We have our registered also 201 stables in Britain, around 300 employees,” continues Ms. Bourlon. These teams spend 58 million euros for the manufacture of boats is providing up to 85% in the region. “
At the heart of the “Sailing Valley” which encompasses Brest, Saint-Malo and the corridor between Port-la-Forêt and Vannes-Quiberon, focus shipyards and naval architects, but also specialists of materials, all other equipment (sails, rigging, electronics, etc).
A positive image
At the national level, the figures are…