Aiming at finish for Brest Atlantiques
Published on December 2nd, 2019
(December 2, 2019; Day 28) – The finish line in the 14,000nm Brest Atlantiques is fast approaching for Maxi Edmond de Rothschild as co-skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier are now heading straight towards Brest, where they are expected to arrive any time within the next two days. Behind them, MACIF and Actual Leader are still battling it out for second place in this race for Ultim 32/23 Class trimarans.
Having crossed the Azores archipelago this morning, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is in no way hanging around, today reaching high average speeds of between 30.5 – 31.5 knots. The conditions have clearly been ideal for the two skippers, who made the most of a southerly wind of around 20 knots to advance directly towards the finish line.
Even if the skippers slow down a bit, not wanting to take any risks at the last minute, they are still likely to cross the finish line during Tuesday night, after around 28 and a half days at sea. Needless to say, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier must now really focus on preserving their trimaran and take care around other passing boats as they approach Europe.
Behind them, the heat is on between the skippers of MACIF (François Gabart/Gwénolé Gahinet) and Actual Leader (Yves Le Blévec/Alex Pella) who, as expected, have since this morning been slowed down considerably by a large area of no wind. Once they manage to sail around the high towards the west, they too will then be able to head directly back towards Brest.
Around fifty miles separated the two boats at today’s 3:00pm ranking. This gap could be reduced to almost nothing by tomorrow. “The end of this race is turning into quite a challenge,” admitted Gahinet. “We’re going to have to be in great shape and not give up.” After more than a month at sea, there could very well be a photo finish for Brest Atlantiques.
DNF: Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias retired on November 22 while in Cape Town when it was determined that the damages to Sodebo Ultim 3 were too serious to carry on safely. Details.
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 Ultim Class is for trimarans with a maximum length of 32 meters and a maximum width of 23 meters.
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
• MACIF: François Gabart/Gwénolé Gahinet
• Sodebo Ultim 3: Thomas Coville/Jean-Luc Nélias
Source: BREST ULTIM SAILING