Route du Rhum updateOne of the joys of the Route du Rhum is that amateur competitors can race alongside French heros in the Open 60 and 60ft trimaran classes.
The leading amateur competitor Franck-Yves Escoffier crossed the finish line of the Route du Rhum at 23 :44 :42 on Tuesday night to take a win in the class 2 multihull division in a time of 16 days, 11 hours, 9 minutes and 42 seconds.
Escoffier was racing the 50ft trimaran Crêpes Whaou! He raced this boat - a design by Jean Pierre Browns and Patrice Gaudry built in 1991 - in the Route du Rhum four years ago and has since 'turboed' her fitting a longer daggerboard and a new carbon fibre mast, 2m taller than the original.
Despite suffering autopilot problems seven days from the finish, Escoffieir did a remarkable job surviving the terrible weather while his peers in the 60ft trimaran class did not survive so well.