Follow Emmanuel Le Roch on his single-handed transatlantic journey onboard the Edenred boat. Set sail to Guadeloupe from November 4 on!
"I managed to stop the boat last night after getting out of the zone where the waves were the strongest, and proceeded to secure the mast bulkhead, using parts of the floorboard I glued and screwed on either side of the mast. It wasn’t such an easy operation with waves still 4-meter high but the motivation to secure the Edenred Class40 was great. Now at least I can head to Madeira without the risk of the mast falling on my head! I thank everyone of you for your cheer up messages, which fuel me with a lot of energy."
"A quick update after passing through the most boat-breaking depression since the start, with 8 to 9-meter high waves. Late in the day Friday, the boat jumped on a huge wave and violently fell back. I rapidly realized that the boat took damage, with notably cracks at both ends of the bulkhead supporting the mast. With both my autopilots now out of order, I must stay at the helm and divert to Madeira, in order to secure the boat. I’m unscathed and keep my spirits up..."
"Can you believe it? 5th depression in a row on this Route du Rhum race… A fair share of my time was spent changing the sails, and I get to use the complete set! The Edenred Class40 is turning into an exercise room, with the most beautiful view in the world. We are about to encounter harsher conditions tonight, which I will try to pass without any damage, in order to meet the trade winds unscathed. There is still room for comfort, too, with a quiet meal of boiled-in-the-bag salmon. Oh, and for those of you who asked: here’s a picture that proves I did not forget my dose of sweet in my package!"
"Beautiful day yesterday, with a lot of nautical miles added to my count. I successfully maneuvered the boat to take advantage of winds up to 45 knots (more than 80 km/h), and with a boat speed rising up to 22 knots at some point, I almost feel luck they haven’t installed speed radars in the Atlantic! Outside on the deck, the waves seem out of a fire hose and inside, you’ve got to hang on and try to move as less as possible because it shakes!"
A view of a magnificent sunrise onboard the Edenred, on which I spent the day at the helm because of an unstable wind (in force and direction), to say nothing of the swell. I wanted to pass through this front as quickly as possible, to avoid getting stuck for too long. Ups and downs of life onboard: I had decided to improve my daily meal with a delicious plate of fresh pasta. As I was about to drain them outside the boat (to keep the Class40 clean!), I inconveniently dropped the content of my plate directly into the ocean. I only hope the fish enjoyed such a well-deserved treat!
"You could truly say that every day is different! I spent most of yesterday struggling to sail Edenred forward with almost no wind, and swell limiting my speed. The reward came late in the afternoon with downwind conditions finally propelling me in the right direction. Morale is definitely high and I’m now striving to get back up with the pals ahead!"
"All is well! I'm currently sailing off the Portuguese coast, in 25th position, with a 100%-functional boat. Already 8 days since the start, and I'm sure the best is yet to come!"
"I'm officially back in the race since 10 PM last night! I must thank all my team and collaborators on land for their dedication and support. All is set on the Edenred Class40, and I was able to rest a bit myself. Pointe-à-Pitre, here I come!"
"I cast anchor in Baiona this morning. The aim is now to carry out the repairs of the boat efficiently and to rest a bit after the last few trying days. During this stop, I will therefore have as few contacts as possible with the outside in order to remain focused on the race, and to set sail as soon as I can. All hands on deck!"
"I will eventually make my technical stop in Baiona (near Vigo), in Galicia. The location seems more strategic and it's also more practical to carry out the repairs, as the boat took some damage: there is a sailmaker located there who will take care of one of my sails, which was torn. My collaborator Gonzague, who prepared the boat in Trinité-sur-Mer, is also present there and will be able to undertake a full checking of the boat, before I can get back on track!"
"Another trying night onboard! Harsh conditions, with a turbulent sea, 5 to 6-meter high waves breaking over the deck and a few technical issues, such as the breakdown of the support of my autopilot engine (I have a spare one, luckily). I still manage to eat and sleep as much as possible and I'm weathering the storm, moving up one place in the ranking (23th)!"
Edit at 1 PM: "Having regard to the latest weather updates, I reckon that the danger level is too high for Friday, with a wind speed of 55-60 knots and a rough sea. I decide to make a stop in A Coruña in Spain to preserve my boat, as it will be too late to divert afterwards."
"We're currently going through a low-pressure area and it's a bit of a battle out there, I spent the night on the lookout, ready to react. I'm in the thick of it, with a wind speed of 45 knots (that's over 80 km/h) that makes it hard to stand up but the spirits are good, I'm maintaining my position in the ranking (24th). I'm staying serene: I know I'll have to hold on tight during the next 3 days, while taking the time to eat and preserving the boat."
"First dinner onboard yesterday: Thai pasta! After an eventful (yet moving) start and a small technical problem which kept me back, I moved up several places in the ranking during the night and the morale is improving, too! We are waiting an update on the weather to know if the storm will let us through. Many thanks to all those who have followed and accompanied me so far: it was a departure packed with emotion."
"Less than 3 hours before the start. After months of preparation, I almost find it hard to realize the time has come. We passed the lock yesterday at sunset... Impossible to forget that 20 years ago, I did exactly the same, as a passenger, with my pal Laurent Bourgnon. During the race, I'll do my best to send you news in this space. You can also track my progression on the interactive map above. Talk to you soon!"
"Last day before the departure. Yesterday, I had the pleasure to welcome a group of employees of my sponsor Edenred, who came to pass on a message of encouragement on behalf of the whole Group; we took time to chat, take a tour of the boat and a few souvenir pictures. The crowd in Saint-Malo is impressive and excitement is absolutely tremendous!"
"Here's a sneak peak at the gear I'm packing for the race. I wouldn't say it's exactly like packing a suitcase, as the Route du Rhum is no walk in the park, but this includes clothing for literally all kinds of weather, displaying of course the name of my sponsor – and boat!"
"You don't participate in a world-class event without a bit of media exposure. I was a guest yesterday on the set of the Route du Rhum's 'Great show' [La Grande Émission] with fellow skippers Bob Escoffier, Charlie Capelle and Aymeric Chappellier, and legendary Celtic musician Alan Stivell. Great moment. Click to watch our segment in case you missed it (NB: it's in French) and leave a comment just below!"
"This one is for those who wonder what the Edenred boat looks like inside! This equipment will be crucial to get all the support and process the data I need during a single-handed race, such as updates on the meteorologic situation, radio contact in case of an emergency, and of course personal items from my loved ones."
"Great bike ride in windy Saint-Malo. Even a few days before the start, training is important and during my preparation, I took my bike out several times a week. Cycling clears the mind and boosts metabolism, to say nothing of the beautiful spots we have in Britanny!"
"The Saint-Malo crowd is always amazing. Last Saturday evening, all skippers were presented onstage to a numerous audience in the castle courtyard and we received a fantastic ovation. It's incredible to feel so much support when you're about to begin for real the adventure of a lifetime. Less than one week before the departure!"
"I've never been closer to the departure. Last week-end, along with my collaborators Julien and Arnaud, I sailed the Edenred Class40 between Trinité-sur-Mer and Saint-Malo (250 nautical miles, that is 460 km along the coast of Brittany). Everything went smoothly and we can't wait to discover the Route du Rhum village!"
Emmanuel Le Roch:
a driven entrepreneur
Emmanuel Le Roch grew up in Lorient, in the French department of Morbihan. Since childhood, his dreams have been dominated by the sea, adventure and the open water. His encounter with Edenred has now made these dreams a reality.Find out more
The Class40 monohull category, which dates back to 2005, has successfully risen to the challenge of offering a high-performance, robust and accessible boat that allows professional sailors and experienced amateurs alike to fulfill their dream of sailing on the open water. Today, there are 155 boats in the class, more than 50 of which will be at the starting line of the Route du Rhum, including the Edenred, number 100.Find out more
November 3, 2018
The countdown has started! At 2.00 p.m. on Sunday, the 123 skippers will set sail for Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe for the 11th Route du Rhum single-handed yacht race. The preparations are gathering ...Find out more
October 12, 2018
On November 4, Emmanuel le Roch, skipper of the Class40 Edenred, will set off for Guadeloupe on his first-ever Route du Rhum. Taking part in the legendary transatlantic race was a boyhood dream for th...Find out more