During the weather briefing at 10:30 on Saturday 5th November, the race directors announced to the 138 skippers their decision to postpone the start of the race due to the weather situation expected in the English Channel during the first 36 hours of the race.

This decision was confirmed by the passage of a very violent low-pressure system, accompanied by very heavy seas that blocked the route from the very first night and left the sailors with no way out of the English Channel. After consultation with Météo Consult forecasters, OC Sport Pen Duick, the organiser of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, and its Race Director Francis Le Goff, have therefore decided to postpone the start of the 12th edition of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, until a more favourable window of opportunity is found for a new start on Tuesday 8th November or Wednesday 9th November

Giving a start on Sunday in 20 to 25 knots of westerly wind was conceivable. But the latest accurate 48 hour weather reports showed that the conditions were much tougher than initially envisaged, and this from the very first hours of the race. The reason for this is the passage of a very active cold front with average winds of around 40 knots and gusts in excess of 50 knots, accompanied by a very large swell raised by tropical storm Martin. 7 metre waves are expected in the Channel from Monday. The timing of the passage of this phenomenon in particular is making the situation even more complex, leaving no alternative route to escape to the south in safety.

Many skippers and their routers have expressed their concern over the past 24 hours about the situation, which they consider to be very serious. The decision was taken taking into account all the criteria of the race, the safety of the sailors being the most important.

It is a good decision which aims to optimise the safety of the fleet and the best possible conditions for the sporting success of the event, for the sailors and the general public.
There will be 138 solo sailors, on the biggest ocean racing boats, at the start of the most mythical of single-handed transatlantic races.

After 13 days of festivities and a record attendance in Saint-Malo, the popular and media fervour confirms the unique status of this event. In the meantime, the activities will continue today with a village open until 22:00, and tomorrow from 10:00 to 17:00.