Change of leader
At the head of the Arkea Ultim Challenge fleet, Charles Caudrelier and Tom Laperche are continuing their incredible high-speed dash across the South Atlantic. Over the past 24 hours, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has devoured over 800 nautical miles on her way to the Cape of Good Hope and the average speed is unlikely to decrease over the coming hours. Still accompanied by a fellow escapee, the top duo is currently navigating a NW’ly wind of around 25 knots at the edge of a front, which will propel them towards the Roaring Forties and the gateway to the Southern Ocean. In terms of the ranking, this Wednesday has been punctuated by a change of leader since Charles Caudrelier gained the upper hand over the youngster of the race in the early hours, snatching back the reins in this round the world race; a position he yielded last Saturday.
Tobogganing towards the Southern Ocean

Since they left Brazil astern of them late Monday, the miles have been ticked off at high speed in the wake of the 32-metre giants. With perfect timing for slipping below the edge of the Saint Helena High and positioning herself ahead of a depression rolling in from the Deep South, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is powering down on the Cape of Good Hope, which she’s set to round over the course of Friday.

These long sessions spent slipping along are exhilarating, especially given the relatively smooth seas, making it possible to post an average speed bordering on 35 knots. However, this is also the point at which the skippers make the ‘dizzying’ switch to the Southern Ocean and the circumnavigation of Antarctica which awaits.

This evening, Charles Caudrelier and Tom Laperche will pass offshore of Tristan da Cunha, the most remote populated archipelago in the world, which forms part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The voyage and the adventure they came in search is temptingly within reach now.

Charles Caudrelier, 17 January

“If we take stock of the first ten days of racing: the North Atlantic wasn’t bad and the South Atlantic is ongoing. We must have done half of it and that’s when you realise just how very big it is! We’re clocking up some miles at the moment. I’m also beginning to take a more long-term look at the routes to see what’s going to happen in the south and discuss it with my routers. By projecting ourselves into the future, you realise the sheer immensity of the challenge we’ve taken on and what awaits us. It makes you feel a bit giddy, but I’m trying to take things one day at a time. Right now, the tacks are a little longer, we have less manoeuvring and more time to think. I’m managing to sleep well and rest at night to ensure I feel fresh during the day.”

Ranking at the 17:00 UTC   

1) Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Charles Caudrelier
2) SVR Lazartigue - Tom Laperche - 70 miles behind the leader 
3) Sodebo Ultim 3 - Thomas Coville - 434.8 miles behind the leader 
4) Actual Ultim 3 - Anthony Marchand - 1,419.3 miles behind the leader 
5) Maxi Banque Populaire XI – Armel Le Cleac’h – 1,677.1 miles behind the leader 
6) Ultim Adagio - Eric Peron – 2,494.1 miles behind the leader 

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