Another stop for Arkea Ultim Challenge
Published on January 31st, 2024
(January 31, 2024; Day 25) – The latest casualty for the 2024 Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest is Thomas Coville on the second placed Sodebo Ultim 3 which will stop in Tasmania to repair damage to his bow pulpit and the port side net. His arrival into Hobart is expected to be late today.
For the Sodebo team, this is a safety and security decision. “These are essential safety elements for going forward safely without the risk of falling into the water,” said the team statement.
Part of the bow pulpit had been torn off, which was the same incident that happened to Armel Le Cléac’h during his descent down the Atlantic. With damage to the port side trampoline net, it prevents Coville from moving forward from the bow to the central hull.
“For safety reasons I don’t feel capable of committing to the Pacific Ocean like this,” explained Coville.
With no further stopping options between Tasmania until after Cape Horn, Hobart became the obvious choice to make repairs. The team will also use the stop to to service and fix the foil lowering systems which have suffered mechanical problems.
“The stopover allows us to ‘time out’ from the very severe weather conditions between Tasmania and New Zealand in the next 48 hours,” added the team.
Only race leader Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) has not needed to stop for repairs among the six-boat fleet, which has been reduced to five competitors with the retirement of Tom Laperche (FRA) on Trimaran SVR-Lazartigue.
For a technical stopover where one or more crew or technical team come on board to help, the stop must be a mandatory 24 hour minimum.
The Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest is a solo, non-stop round-the-world race for Ultim Class trimarans which have a maximum length of 32 meters and a maximum width of 23 meters.
The solo speed record around the world was set in 2017 by François Gabart (FRA) on the 30m Macif trimaran in a time of 42d 14h 40m 15s for an average speed of 21.08 knots. This yacht has been rebranded and will be raced by Marchand.
• Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (2017 Verdier 32/23)
• Thomas Coville (FRA), Sodebo Ultim 3 (2019 VPLP/others 32/23)
• Tom Laperche (FRA), Trimaran SVR-Lazartigue (2021 VPLP 32/23)
• Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Maxi Banque Populaire XI (2021 VPLP 32/23)
• Anthony Marchand (FRA), Actual Ultim 3 (2015 VPLP 30/22)
• Éric Péron (FRA), Trimaran Adagio (2014 VPLP 31/21)*
* Only entrant without foiling appendages
Five rules from the Sailing Instructions:
• The start is January 7 from Brest, France. The start line is kept open for 168 hours and the finish line is closed after an elapsed time of 100 days after the start time, that is to say April 16, 2024.
• The skippers can communicate and exchange with their teams on shore, so they have the freedom to get weather information and be routed by their team on shore and get technical help and advice to help with technical problems.
• The solo skippers can stop but there are two distinct operations. A technical stop is unassisted and requires the sailor to drop anchor, take a mooring, or tie up alongside an anchored or moored boat with no external help. There is no time penalty for a technical stop. But for a technical stopover (escale technique) where one or more crew or technical team come on board to help, there is a mandatory 24 hours minimum. This does not apply to the start port of Brest where all means are authorized to reach or leave the port within a radius of 50 miles.
• For the first time in ocean racing, zones where there are known to be a high concentration of whales and sea mammals are determined. Establishing these zones should both protect the marine wildlife and reduce the chance of a collision. These zones are around the Azores, the Canaries, south of South Africa, the Kerguelens, and parts of the Antarctic.
• There are ice exclusion zones to protect the skippers and their boats.