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Final night for Brest Atlantiques leader

Published on December 3rd, 2019

(December 3, 2019; Day 29) – After little under 29 days at sea, Franck Cammas, Charles Caudrelier, and media man Yann Riou are expected to be crowned the winners of the 14,000nm Brest Atlantiques tomorrow morning. Following 24 hours going at very high speeds off the Bay of Biscay, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is expected to finish in lighter winds and claim its first major victory just less than two and a half years after its launch.

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has stayed in the lead since November 14, just after it crossed the first race marker in Rio de Janeiro, for this test of Ultim 32/23 Class trimarans. Having covered 728 miles in the past 24 hours, at an average speed of 30.4 knots, this has been their second-best day since leaving Brest on November 5.

The trimaran, designed by Guillaume Verdier with the help of Gitana’s design team, and built at the Multiplast boatyard in Vannes, should cross the finish having sailed a total of 17,000 miles at an average speed of 25 knots. A fine reward for an Ultim trimaran and its skippers who, apart from when crossing the Bay of Biscay and during their pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, have always been in the lead, living up to their status held by many as the favorites to win.

This success will be important for Gitana, as the trimaran’s first big win on an offshore race, two years after finishing second in the Transat Jacques Vabres (but with broken foils), and one year after abandoning the Route du Rhum after losing its front starboard float.

But equally important for Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, who took the helm of the Ultim last April and who will in seven months have succeeded to lead it to victory (they also won the Fastnet in August). There will no doubt be crowds waiting and ready to cheer them on as they dock their trimaran at the Quai Malbert in Brest tomorrow morning.

The two other trimarans still battling it out in the race, MACIF and Actual leader, are expected between December 6 and 7. With MACIF ahead by only 25 miles this afternoon, it is still unknown who will end up securing second place.

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.

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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


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