Start of the Route du Rhum: Sanctioned boaters and reinforced organisation

Start of the Route du Rhum 2018 © J-B Ternon

The safety of offshore racing starts is a thorny issue. The courts have strengthened the organizers of the Route du Rhum and punished offending boaters. Between fast boats and safety requirements, the management of water bodies is evolving...

22 boaters convicted after the start of the Route du Rhum

On Monday, June 17, 2019, the Saint-Malo Criminal Court summoned several boaters. The owners and skippers of the boats were accused of having entered the prohibited areas by the Route du Rhum organisation at the start of the 2018 transatlantic race. The 22 offenders were fined 250. They also had their inshore or offshore licences suspended for 6 months.

Dilemma of organizations: Combining safety and sailing yacht show

The Route du Rhum 2018 had seen the introduction of a new safety system. The navigation order violated by boaters provided exclusion zones reserved for racing skippers, zones for official boats and others for individual boaters. Faced with the record number of participants, 123 sailing boats at the start, and the speed of the new maxi-trimarans, the organisers and institutions had reinforced the controls. They led to these unprecedented convictions.

Beyond the judgment, they are a major evolution towards a policy of sanctions. The organisers of major nautical events are thus legitimated in their choice of departure management. They would be accused of irresponsibility at the slightest accident between increasingly fast sailing boats and spectators, occasional boaters who are often not well informed.

More articles on channels: