Unprecedented course for Ultim Class
Published on October 3rd, 2019
The Brest Atlantiques race, a 14,000 mile loop in the Atlantic Ocean, will involve four of the 32-meter-long trimarans of the Ultim Class, starting on November 3 in Brest, France.
The inaugural edition of this event sends these doublehanded speedsters on a course from Brest that will turn at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa) before returning to Brest.
The turning marks will see the boats leave to port the chain of Cagarras Islands, in front of the famous Ipanema beach in the Bay of Rio and Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.
It is an unprecedented course, lined with several weather traps, especially along The Cape, a route almost never taken in offshore racing.
“The first part is like a Jules Verne trophy or the record of a solo circumnavigation of the world, especially with the Intertropical Convergence Zone, which requires skillful movements,” comments race director Jacques Caraës “Then the South Atlantic High which, if offset from its usual position, offers various possibilities, especially for very fast boats.
“There is also the novelty of the crossing point between the Cagarras Islands which can slow the boats down and tighten up gaps in the race. The second part is unknown, with the route up the South Atlantic from The Cape which, if there are gaps, can give way to unusual strategic moves along the African coast from boats positioned behind.
“You also need to take the time into account, 30 days is a long time, a first for the trimarans of the Ultim Class 32/33.”
Each entry will be skippered by four fantastic pairs and accompanied by a media man who is not allowed to take an active role in the performance of the boat. The teams are:
• Actual leader: Yves Le Blévec/Alex Pella
• Maxi Edmond de Rothschild: Franck Cammas/Charles Caudrelier
• Trimaran Macif: François Gabart/Gwénolé Gahinet
• Sodebo Ultim 3: Thomas Coville/Jean-Luc Nélias
The bar has been set very high as these eight sailors together hold a total of eleven wins in the Transat Jacques Vabre, five on the The Ocean Race (ex Volvo Ocean Race), four on the Route du Rhum, two on the Solitaire du Figaro and the Mini-Transat, one on the Vendée Globe, the Transat AG2R and the English Transat, while five of them hold or have held the Jules Verne Trophy, two hold the solo circumnavigation of the world records.
Source: BREST ULTIM SAILING