The Route de Rhum and Titouan Lamazou’s Floating Studio

Audio 19:39
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the Route de Rhum sailing competition. There’s a brief chat with Titouan Lamazou, who won the Route de Rhum in 1990, music chosen by Hans Verner Lollike from Hedehusen, Denmark – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

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There’s a new musical segment on The Sound Kitchen – your favourite songs. We started with female singers, and now we’re moving on to male singers. What I want you to do is send in your favourite song by a male singer, and tell why that song and that singer are important to you. Every week I’ll play one of your suggestions, and then we’ll change to band, instrumental, film, your children’s favourites … but for January and February, we’ll focus on men, so to your pens! Write to me at, and be sure you include your city and country in your note. I think it will be quite nice to share your favourite music as well as your thoughts about it – thanks to Daniel Singleton, the RFI English Head of Service, for the idea!

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This week’s quiz:On 17 November, I asked you about a French sailing competition, the Route de Rhum. The Route de Rhum is a solo 57-hundred-kilometer race from Saint Malo in northwest France to Guadeloupe, a French-governed archipelago in the Caribbean.There were 123 competitors; they all left Saint Malo on 4 November and the winner got there on Sunday 18 November. You were to send me the name of the man who won the 2018 Route de Rhum solo sailing race, as well as his time. I also asked you to send me the name of the man who won the very first Route de Rhum in 1978, just so you can see how sail boats have changed over the years. The difference in time is amazing!

The answer is:Frenchman Francis Joyon, who is 62 years-old. He finished in seven days, 14 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds. Joyon beat the previous record set by Frenchman Loick Peyron in 2014 of seven days and 15 hours. It was Joyon’s first victory after seven attempts.

Canadian Mike Birch won the inaugural Route du Rhum in 1978 – and his time was 23 days and six hours. Vive la difference!

The winners are: Mrs Lali Devi from Rajasthan, India; Mr Alan Holder from the Isle of Wight in Britain and Jay Marmer from Baltimore, Maryland in the U-S. There are two RFI Listeners Club members on the lucky list of winners this week:  Mrs Jahan Ara Hussain from Odisha, India and John James Bassey – the man of red-headed lizard soup fame - who lives in Cross River State, Nigeria.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee”, and “His Eye is on the Sparrow” by Civilla Martin and Charles Gabriel, sung by Mahalia Jackson.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 21 January to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 26 January podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

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Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

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92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



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