Lionel Lemonchois secures first place in the Multi 50 class after 15-day crossing

Crossing the Route du Rhum finish line in Guadeloupe at 16:52:48 GMT (12:52:48 local time), Lionel Lemonchoise (Prince de Bretagne) secured first place in the Multi 50 class in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale 2010 transatlantic race from Saint Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

The elapsed time for Prince de Bretagne is 15 days 04 hours 50 mins 48 secs, his average speed on the water was 13.10 knots over an actual distance of 4776 miles. On the theoretical course of 3539 miles Lionel Lemonchois’ average speed was 9.70 knots. He completes a notable Route du Rhum double winning this multihull class after winning the race outright in 2006 when he set the current course record of 7 days 7 hours 19 mins, 06 secs.

Lionel Lemonchois commented: “At one point I really thought that I would stop. And after a little night sleeping and thinking and I told myself I had to go. During the night I found a solution for the boat and then I went back racing and sailed to have a place on the podium. I really wanted to be on the podium.

Well I did not do all this only for me othewise I might have stopped. I did it for Prince de Bretagne and for the people who trust me. After all what happened to that boat, to stop the race after being in the lead, that was not possible. I had to try and save something.

That’s not the victory I’d wished (because of the 2 competitors who retired from the race) but it’s racing. You still need to finish your race to win it.

The boat is a really good boat. We almost reached 30 knots in speed. That was a surprise. I’ve never been afraid. And you know, when you sail a boat a lot you learn to like it. This one we spent so much time on refit and repairs you put a bit of yourself in it. And you also imagine the race and how it could unfold with the boat. There are still plenty of things to do on the boat to improve her. But I won’t tell what !

At the end, as the weather was not reliable, I closed the door for the guys who were in the south. I just put us in a settled position as regard to the fleet to avoid anyone could come back on us.

This boat has gone through a lot of things since she was launched. Even after the second refit she had problems…so a victory that was unexpected and yes I am happy. But I have to relax a bit to really appreciate it.”

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