End for Brest Atlantiques is in sight
Published on December 6th, 2019
(December 6, 2019; Day 32) – The end of the 14,000nm Brest Atlantiques is in sight, with MACIF expected to arrive early tomorrow morning, followed closely behind by Actual Leader.
Less than 3 days after Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the line in first place, Brest is now preparing to welcome the two remaining Ultim 32/23 Class trimarans to complete the Brest Atlantiques podium. Since MACIF’s pitstop in Cape Town, both boats have been battling it out for second place, and at today’s 3pm ranking were only 30 miles apart.
When they passed the second race marker at Robben Island in Cape Town, Actual Leader had a lead of 3 hours and 21 minutes over MACIF, who, by choosing to sail further west in the South Atlantic, managed to regain the lead at the equator and in turn gained 2 hours and 32 minutes on Actual Leader. Could this be the distance that separates them at the finish line?
According to the Brest Atlantiques weather consultant, Christian Dumard, Actual Leader’s game is to try to increase their lateral distance against MACIF, because there are few options of coming back following the same course. MACIF’s objective is to control their lead over their rivals.
The latest ETA, taking into account the lightening winds forecast for tonight, is for the two trimarans to arrive tomorrow between 3am and 8am (French time).
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