The maneuver was perilous but fortunately there was no breakage. On Tuesday evening, the Ultimes successfully passed the narrow lock that separated them from the large basin of the port of Saint-Malo, where they will remain at the quay until the start of the Route du Rhum on November 6. “It just happened”, exclaims, relieved, Valérie, 57, watching the huge trimaran of her “darling” François Gabart go away.
For the first time, the eight Ultime, gigantic trimarans 32 meters long and 23 meters wide, were invited to the party in the port of the corsair city. But to get there, there is no other choice than to cross the Naye lock, which is only 25 meters wide.
hand drawn boats
The passage of these giants of the seas therefore involved a precise organization, calibrated according to the tides and the weather, the Ultime and their mast of about thirty meters becoming difficult to maneuver in winds greater than 15 knots (28 km / h) , according to Thomas de La Broise, deputy port commander in Saint-Malo. After being positioned in the axis of the lock using a pontoon, taking advantage of a light wind, the boats were pulled by hand using ropes, under the watchful eye of several boatmen. , specialists in the passage of locks.
To attend this show, nearly 2,000 people were massed in the stands, holding their breath. On November 4, two days before the start of the race, the Ultime will once again have to pass through the lock, but this time in the opposite direction. They will then set sail, heading for Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe.
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