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Arkéa Ultim Challenge – Brest

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 51 morning update

Caudrelier’s finish is expected to be between midnight and noon

This Monday morning the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest leader Charles Caudrelier, the solo skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, has about 455 miles to the finish line. But the conditions remain tough all the way to Brest and the leader is staying cautious and careful. But the winds look set to ease back slightly from tonight into tomorrow morning.

But what time will he finish? That remains the big question…

“It’s getting closer,” smiles Pierre Hays assistant race director. “Normally he will arrive between midnight and noon.”

Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest: The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild © Yann Riou / polaRYSE / GITANA SA
Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest: The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild © Yann Riou / polaRYSE / GITANA SA
Since his leaving the Azores on Saturday, Caudrelier has had it tough, as was expected.

“There have been relatively challenging conditions with a fairly strong weather system approaching Brest, throughout the Bay of Biscay and up to the north of Ireland. He has had strong winds and heavy seas.” Hays explains, “Charles decided he wanted to be behind this big depression. He is looking to take the fewest risks and finish this round the world race in the most favorable conditions”.

Caudrelier held back his speed to less than 20 knots during the last 24 hours.

From now on he is trying to find the right time to head for Brest when the wind and the sea have dies down a little.

“His approach to the finish seems more favorable from the start of the night until tomorrow. At the moment, there are strong winds near Brest, around 35 to 40 knots,” explains Hays.

The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is already sailing towards Brest and should remain on a long port tack until the finish line.

On land, the race management and the Gitana teams are working together to finalize the finish procedures. Race management have asked anyone looking to follow the finish on the water to be very cautious. “Really we recommend everyone to follow the finish from on land.”, says Hays.

Behind Caudrelier progress continues

Second placed Thomas Coville has just under 2,000 miles to go on the direct route. The skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3, which is sailing on the starboard tack has been moving at around thirty knots since the middle of the night. He will continue to move north before turning eastward within 24 hours.

1,300 miles further south, third placed Armel Le Cléac’h is at the latitude of Cape Verde. “He is progressing on starboard tack with an easterly wind at a good speed (22.7 knots in the last 24 hours).” Reports Hays, “He has a well-established Easterl wind which is allowing him to go correctly.”

Finally, the reality is slightly different for the two skippers who are progressing in the South Atlantic. Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3, 4th) has relatively weak, variable winds. And Éric Péron (ULTIM ADAGIO, 5th) is a little faster. He too has light winds, the situation is slightly more favorable for him.

Follow the race tracking on

by Andi Robertson

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