According to Thomas Savalle
Two brothers participate The rum journey of Saint Malo, Sunday, November 6, 2022. One is a professional sailor, the other a self-described “enlightened amateur” and is setting out on Rhum for the second time, 16 years after his first participation. Kevin and Loic Escoffier tells us how they experience this rum as a “family”.
Why participate in the Route du Rhum right now?
Lois: It’s not necessarily a good time, it’s primarily the story of the project. With the meeting with my partner Lodigroup, I had the opportunity to build a new boat, which made me participate in my second Rhum. I have often thought about it, but it requires a lot of investment, this time I feel I can go even further than in 2006.
Kevin: Even for me, who is setting out with the new Imoca, there is nothing better than taking part in this legendary race to get to know the boat. It’s the first.
Lois: We mustn’t forget that even though this is Kevin’s first time in Rum, he already has a lot of offshore racing experience and has won a number of team trophies.
What does the Route du Rhum mean to you?
Kevin: Being from Saint-Malo, this race made me want to race at sea. I remember the pontoons when I was a kid. As an engineer, I wanted to study ships from a young age.
Loic : Yes, it’s the same, I even remember that before dad (Franck-Yves) took part in Rhum, we took the boats to the starting line. This is happening in Saint-Malo, in our city, so it obviously affected us.
Do you talk about it a lot with your family?
Lois: We call each other a lot, we talk about it. Above all, we are passionate about sailing, so we talk about it with each other and with my father.
Kevin : Definitely, sometimes a little too much when we get together to eat together. (Laughter)
How does your father (three-time Route du Rhum winner) view your projects?
Lois: He is very proud of it. We have no pressure to live up to our father, not at all. I put pressure on myself to be up to speed on all the manoeuvres, but it’s like a bike ride you don’t forget.
Kevin: One of the strengths of our family is that we don’t compare routes, we do the Route du Rhum out of passion because we are attached to it, but no, there is no pressure on that side.
Law: And then all the Escoffiers didn’t win the Route du Rhum, some stopped in Roscoff (Bob Escoffier, their uncle, stopped in Roscoff during the 2018 route du rhum, editor’s note). (laughter)
Do you advise each other?
Kevin: Not at all, Loïc can navigate as well as I do.
Law: The advice you give me is more about fittings, you know more about brands than I do, recently with reels for example.
What are your goals for the Route du Rhum?
Kevin: In Imoca the field is very strong, it will be difficult to compete with captains who know their boat inside out. Then, on the transatlantic sea, anything is possible. Everything is going well at this stage of the preparations, so I hope.
Lois: For me, the goal is to do better than the last time in 2006. I’m aiming for at least a podium in Rhum Multi, I can hope for big things with this new boat. If I finish in a fortnight, that will mean I’ve reached my goal.
Lois: I would like to participate in the Transat Jacques Vabre, it is not ready yet, but I don’t see what would prevent it.
Kevin : For my part, the expected goal is the Vendée Globe 2024. It is a checked box on the calendar and the culmination of the project.
Like Malouin, do you feel this excitement around the Route du Rhum?
Kevin: Yes, it is normal, it is a very good race that has marked us since childhood and that affects all the people in Saint-Malo.
Lois: Thanks to my job as a fishing boat owner, I have made a lot of friends here and for months, every time I go to the bakery or anywhere, no one talks to me about anything else. I have a feeling this release will be a record breaker.
Find all our articles on the Route du Rhum.
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