Guirec Soudée, all smiles and full of energy, lined up at the start of the Route du Rhum 2022 in the Imoca category. The adventurer with the hen, approaches the transatlantic with a thirst for speed and a desire to gain experience before the next Vendée Globe.
Route du Rhum 2022
“Guirec! Guirec!” Alice and Robin, from the height of their 7 years, try to challenge their hero. Guirec Soudée is taking advantage of the break between final adjustments to his Imoca Freelance.com to get off his boat and meet them.
Just behind, Claudine, who had come from Deux Sèvres to catch a glimpse of the young captain, was filled with emotion. “I love your adventures” breathed the retiree who started to cry.
Guirec Soudée laughs, entertains, and spends time with this public who came to see the skipper perform his moult. Because the young thirty-year-old who has already become one of the ocean, on a world tour with his famous hen Monique and sailed for a double crossing of the Atlantic by oar, lined up for the first time in a big outdoor race of shore
“I can’t wait to take the helm and go out!” laughs Guirec Soudée in his Imoca at the foot of the ramparts of Saint-Malo. “We are leaving with severe weather. This is great for testing the boat. For the first, Guirec Soudée is served, 20-25 knots at the start, 40-50 knots in the Channel with gusts to 60 knots.
The Breton did not aim for success, but left to gain experience. “The project will be ready for the Vendée Globe in two years. The goal is to reach the end of Rum without breaking down. Have fun and learn.”
But the adventurous sailor is also a competitor, and wants to get to Guadeloupe as quickly as possible. “It was a career and my Freelance.com was built quickly”the young captain smiled. “I need to shoot a little”. And that’s an understatement. When many skippers take shelter on the coast of Brittany or in the Bay of Biscay to avoid possible destruction due to the strong depression that will fall on the fleet, Guirec Soudée decides “to enter and cross it.”
To prove his choices, in addition to his team, the Trégor sailor asks for advice. “I just called Michel Desjoyeaux, we don’t know each other much, but I like him. I need to get his opinion on the start of the race.
“Rum making is great, but it’s a phase. I’m obsessed with the Vendée Globe”. The project between Freelance.com and Guirec Soudée will run until 2025, when they return to Les Sables d’Olonnes. Until then, the captain and his Imoca are financially supported.
“Freelance.com allows me to find the Vendée I’ve been dreaming of since 2014”. It’s been less than a year since Guirec discovered his boat. “Everything is not ready yet. With the team and Sébastien Audigane as my coach, we are just starting to have it in hand”.
For this Vendée Globe project, Guirec surrounded himself with a small close guard consisting mainly of close friends: Sébastien Audigane, Arthur Guillemot, Lucie Querel, Alice Claeyssens and his partner Newt De Nijs.
Guirec was happy with his boat, which finished 9th in the last Vendée Globe with Benjamin Dutreux at the helm. “A well built, reliable, resistant boat that has already proven itself”. The young sailor has trust between his team and his partner.
With his big smile and the encouragement of his audience, Guirec Soudée was ready to leave the 138 contestants. “I find it incredible to be among these champions. I don’t know if I am in my place, but I will give everything to do my best and have fun”.
And seeing the crowd in front of the boat, the adventurous sailor knows how to express his pleasure and offer dreams. “Now there is only… And if we have to cross 80 knots of wind, well, we can talk about it”.