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Storm postpones Ultim Class contest

Published on October 31st, 2019

After having studied the evolution of the weather situation over the past few days, the organisers of Brest Atlantiques, in agreement with the sailors and owners, have decided to postpone the start, initially scheduled for November 3 from Brest, France.

The inaugural event, a 14,000 mile loop in the Atlantic Ocean, is to involve four of the 32-meter-long trimarans of the Ultim Class.

“A strong gale is expected from late evening on November 1 until the afternoon of November 3, generating very heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay with 8 metre waves forecast; it was not reasonable to launch the Ultim trimarans in these conditions,” said race director Jacques Caraës.

Emmanuel Bachellerie, Managing Director of Brest Ultim Sailing, the organising company of Brest Atlantiques, added: “We naturally regret being forced to postpone the start, for local authorities, for owners, for the public and especially for sailors who were preparing to leave, but it was not possible to do otherwise, it is the nature of our sport. Taking the maximum precautions for the safety of the sailors and the integrity of boats is the top priority.”

Mayor of Brest and President of Brest Metropole, François Cuillandre, who has been kept abreast of the evolution of the weather situation since the beginning of the week, shows total solidarity with this decision to postpone the start: “There was no other solution and it was out of the question to put sailors and their boats at any risk.

“The crowds that have flocked to the village since it opened last Saturday which illustrates the very strong link that unites the people of Brest to the world of ocean racing and I am convinced that they will be present in large numbers to encourage the skippers on the day of the start of the Brest Atlantiques.”

The date of this departure will be announced as soon as possible by the organisers, who are closely following the evolution of the weather situation: “We will take the first available window,” concludes Bachellerie.

The course 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.

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

Event detailsRace brochure


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