There’s no better indication of how French and European sailors dominate many of the big singlehanded ocean races then the sailors signed up for the Route du Rhum Race. Scheduled to depart St. Malo in France and finish at Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, the Route du Rhum has only one American sailor, Etienne Giroire, who is also the president of ATN Inc,. which makes some very useful and innovative sailing gear.
From the press release: Etienne Giroire, president of ATN Inc., a manufacturer of sailing equipment since 1990 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, veteran of Whitbread/Ostar/Around Britain Race has recently completed 1,000 single handed miles on his 40’ trimaran ATNinc.com as qualification for the legendary single handed, trans Atlantic race, Route du Rhum. The 3,543 mile course begins in Saint Malo, Brittany, France on October 31st and ends in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles. This, the 9th Route du Rhum single-handed race, which takes place every four years, is one of the most exciting sailing events held anywhere. Approximately 85 of the world’s most experienced sailors will compete in 2 multi-hull classes and 3 single-hull classes vessels. Etienne is the only American entrant!
ATNinc.com, a Walter Greene (from Yarmouth, ME) design, is 40’ x 30’, has 2,000 square feet of sails and her mast is 60’. Complete competence in sailing and seamanship are required for single-handed racing, as is a high degree of self-sufficiency and physical fitness. The lone skipper must accomplish all of the tasks that would ordinarily be handled by a full crew.