New start for Ultim Class adventure
Published on November 2nd, 2019
Brest, France (November 2, 2019) – The start of the Brest Atlantiques race, which was postponed two days ago due to stormy weather conditions in the Bay of Biscay, is now set to start on November 5.
The inaugural event, a 14,000 mile loop in the Atlantic Ocean, has four of the 32-meter-long trimarans of the Ultim Class.
Since the announcement of the delayed departure, the organizers have been monitoring the weather developments closely in order to determine the first window of opportunity to safely start these maxi multihulls.
“The conditions for this revised date will be suitable for the race start, with an average wind speed of 25-30 knots in a north-north-westerly direction,” reports race director Jacques Caraës. “This will allow a swift descent from the Bay of Biscay in around 10-12 hours, but with sea conditions that remain uncertain. With the weather conditions naturally evolving all the time, particularly at this time of year, we will continue to monitor it closely. We will have a clearer idea of the conditions in the next 48 hours.”
Now that the weather conditions have been confirmed suitable during this window, the race organizers, with the go-ahead from the maritime authorities, have set the departure time for 11:00am. The 2.5-mile line will be between the western buoy of Ile de Sein, passing it on its port side, and the race committee boat Le Rhône, passing it on its starboard side.
“As soon as the delay to the start was confirmed, it was important for us to take advantage of the first possible window of opportunity,” explains Emmanuel Bachellerie, Director of Brest Ultim Sailing, the organizing authority of the Brest Atlantiques. “The maritime authorities have been extremely helpful in listening and understanding, and we are extremely grateful for their continued support. However, together with the race HQ, we continue to closely study the different weather forecasts which in November can change very quickly.”
The race 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
Source: BREST ULTIM SAILING