Sailor Yoann Richomme won the transatlantic race Le Retour à La Base on Saturday in Lorient (Morbihan), a solo qualifying race for the prestigious Vendée Globe, which will start in November 2024 from Les Sables-d'Olonne. Aboard his new monohull Paprec Arkéa, the sailor from the Var made the crossing from Fort-de-France (Martinique) to Brittany in 9 days and 3 minutes at an impressive average speed of almost 20 knots (37 km/h).
"I didn't expect to be at the front so quickly, but I feel good aboard this boat," Richomme told AFP on Saturday. We were already very satisfied with our 2nd place in the Transat Jacques-Vabre and this is above our expectations. It was the 40-year-old skipper's first solo race on an Imoca, a two-time winner of the Route du Rhum in Class40 (2018, 2022) and the Solitaire du Figaro (2016, 2019).
"I've never done it before, it's true," he said by phone shortly before his arrival. But doing solo, in heavy weather, is something I love and that has worked for me on other media. The success comes mainly from the design of the boat. It has an ability to pass through the sea that others probably don't have. It allows us to go and play different shots. »
The 2024 Vendée Globe requires skippers wishing to take part in it to take part in at least one solo race in an Imoca before the start of this famous non-stop round the world race scheduled for 10 November 2024. The Return to Base was the first solo confrontation this year before two transatlantic races between France and New York in the spring of 2024. Jérémie Beyou (Charal) and Sam Goodchild (For The Planet) were expected in Lorient to complete the podium.