Battle heats up in Brest Atlantiques
Published on December 5th, 2019
(December 5, 2019; Day 31) – After Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was crowned the winner yesterday of the 14,000nm Brest Atlantiques, MACIF and Actual Leader now have less than 1,000 miles separating them from the finish. With MACIF out in front by 50 miles at 3pm today, the two Ultim 32/23 Class trimarans will be gybing all the way until they arrive in Brest between December 6 and 7.
In westerly winds of around twenty knots today, and dropping to 15-18 knots tomorrow, the two trimarans, together with their routers (Jean-Yves Bernot for MACIF, Christian Dumard for Actual Leader), will have to make a series of gybes before the finish line in Brest. The challenge will be in choosing the right moment each time in order to position themselves on the best possible route.
François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet were the first to gybe today at 3pm, changing direction slightly more towards the south. A choice which at first made them lose ground against their competitors who, between the 11am and 3pm rankings, managed to gain 25 miles on MACIF.
However, will the gap separating the two boats increase once again when Actual Leader have to make their first gybe? All will be revealed in the next few hours, when we’ll know for sure their final podium positions.
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