Anglo - French Conflict
Scuttlebutt 3208 (Oct. 28, 2010) when Sailing World blogger Tim Zimmermann pronounced that the Route Du Rhum, the 3542 nm solo race from France to West Indies, would be “hands-down be the most exciting sailboat race of the year”. Speaking to his American audience (though the Internet knows no limits) that lacks the same passion as its western European ally, his words were equal parts information and persuasion.
Hopefully his words had some impact for those who witnessed them. The Route Du Rhum only happens once every four years, and it always delivers intense sailing action (which sometimes reaches the level of serious carnage). The last edition drew 1.2 million visitors to the race village and 250,000 people thronging to the coast to view the start. With 1,000 accredited journalists at the start, the event received over 88 hours of TV broadcasts, 5,200 press articles and 60 radio hours. Clearly, the event has an audience.
This year, the RDR had 87 registered skippers, and the event website brought us onboard with reports, photos, video, and tracking. The five divisions were filled with the elites of this realm. The maxi multihulls, famous for their speed records, shared the spot light with the IMOCA Open 60, clearly the dominant player in professional shorthanded competition. But it was the new kid on the block, the Class 40 with its 44 entries, which also warranted space on the stage.
So given the depth of competition presented by the Class 40, why would an event that had made a significant investment to share the action of this contest to a global online audience, stop providing event updates before the first Class 40 crossed the finish line? The final story - “Here come the roaring 40's!” - would report how the Class 40 fleet would start arriving in a day or two.
Funny thing happened in the world of this French produced event... they stopped translating the stories to English. The website has a French and English language option, and the English version of the website stops on November 16th (as of press time) while the French version continues on. So for any Anglo interested in the six Class 40 entries yet to finish, better luck next time. And we wonder why the Americans don’t follow this foreign affair.
Event website: http://www.routedurhum-labanquepostale.com/
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