D-day less than 1 month to go before the start of the Route du Rhum
Luke Berry prepped and ready to go
Luke Berry prepped and ready to go
In just under one month, on the 4th November in Saint Malo, Luke Berry will be on the start line for the departure of his first Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in the very competitive Class 40 category.
Strong from intensive training sessions and some good sports results , the Lamotte Module-Création skipper has reached the right level of preparation expected and confidence to perform.
The Saint Malo sailor’s objective: to put to good use to all the preparation and training in order to be part of the vanguard of this prestigious Route du Rhum.
Luke Berry has been hard at work since his Class 40 Lamotte Module-Création was launched on the 15th March earlier this year. In just over 6 months he has completed 80 days of sailing and clocked over 5000 miles on his new machine either in training or racing.
In contact with Lorient’s finest
“The boat was launched relatively late and I had less experience than the other Class 40 skippers. So to get closer to the level of the best skippers I needed to be firing on all cylinders in order to progress as quickly as possible” explained Luke who was able to take advantage of the very instructive training under the leadership of Tanguy Leglatin, a renowned coach. “I was among a group of eight Class 40s, all skippered by excellent sailors who are among the favourites in the Route du Rhum and so therefore was able to compare my performance. This had the effect of raising my game” emphasised Luke. “We worked on manoeuvring and tactics, settings and adjustments, choice of sails, speed performance analysis and also the automatic pilot that is an important element in a singlehanded transatlantic crossing. Tanguy Leglatin is very experienced in Class 40 and takes the time to deal with each sailor giving us good advice in order that we can progress.”
To be put to the test in bad weather…
As the big deadline of 2018 approaches Luke Berry feels well in tune with his boat. He does however have one concern, “On board the boat I have good benchmarks when sailing in light to medium strength winds. On the other hand I haven’t yet experienced very bad weather conditions as a solo sailor”. However when he’s not sailing and back on land he has been in training to maximise his chances and to be prepared for all types of weather. In tandem with sailing he has been working out to improve his fitness and core strength: cardio activity (running), gym work, surfing, kite-surfing and wind foiling (let’s not forget his passion for water sports from an early age) - all theses have been part of his daily fitness routine. He has also worked on the mental side of things, particularly by developing techniques that help him through difficult periods.
Often on the leaderboard in the qualifying races
Before being able to estimate his future performance in the Route du Rhum, Luke took part in 5 preparatory races, three of which were singlehanded. He has shown good consistency in the leader group (see the results below) and he picked up a podium place in the Dhream Cup, a 750 mile singlehanded race. Luke explains, “In all the events I managed to hold on to the leader group. Each time I enjoyed the experience of being on board and had a good routine, especially in terms of sleep and nutrition. That allowed me to keep a clear head for making the right strategic decisions. In addition my time spent on the MiniTransat circuit came into good use and was an invaluable experience. And the good results show that we are heading in the right direction. I hope to continue this momentum and be part of the leaderboard on the Route du Rhum”.
A reminder that of the 53 skippers taking part in the Class 40 category at least 12 of them are capable of a podium place…
A get-together for the partners and sponsors
Luke’s project brings together 24 partners with different levels of involvement. They were invited to several events including the boat launch and the official presentation to the town of Saint Malo on the 14th June. Many have also been able to get on board the race machine. Our skipper has sailed with 180 people since the launch. “These are opportunities for the partners to get together and enhance their visibility and public awareness”, confirms Luke.
Also worth mentioning that this is a 3 year project and the door remains open for any future partners who may wish to join the adventure after the Route du Rhum.
As a reminder, Luke and his partners support and are committed to the charity Fonds-Victoire (https://www.fonds-victoire.org/) that contributes to improving the quality of life for children with multiple disabilities.
Fine tuning of the last details
With less than a month to go before the start of the Route du Rhum Luke Berry is in the groove. With Ludovic Méchin (préparateur) and Mathilde de Corberon (communications and partner relations manager) he is working on the final preparations so that the Class 40 Lamotte Module-Création will be completely ready for when the Race Village opens on the 24th of October. “The aim is to be able to enjoy calmly the 10 days of festivities that precede the departure and also to be able to take some time for myself and my family”, concludes Luke.