2,200 miles to Brest
This Sunday 18 February at 12:30 UTC, Charles Caudrelier began his seventh week at sea in the Arkea Ultim Challenge. Setting sail from Brest forty-two days ago, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild passed the latitude of Cape Verde early this morning. This afternoon, the leader of the round the world for ULTIMs is making headway at 21° north and benefiting from around fifteen knots of NE’ly wind to post an average speed of 25 knots, close-hauled in a trade wind sea of 2.5 to 3 metres. Since crossing the equator on Friday morning, the skipper of Gitana Team has made no secret of the fact that this long tack northward towards the Azores is a tad monotone. This is especially true after six weeks of racing and some 2,000 miles from the finish, when the urge to reach the finish line is increasingly strong. However, Charles Caudrelier is remaining pragmatic because having scanned the latest weather forecasts, he knows that the end of the course promises to be tough and particularly windy.
In race mode   

42 days… the solo round the world record under sail, which was set by François Gabart in 2017, will not be beaten. Up to the halfway mark in the Arkea Ultim Challenge, Charles Caudrelier was very much inside the record time and even a few hours ahead of schedule on passing South-East Cape in Tasmania at the exit from the Indian Ocean. However, the weather sequence in the Pacific, with forty-eight hours on stand-by shortly after Point Nemo and a particularly slow South Atlantic put the stopwatch to the bottom of the list of priorities. For the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, this is in no way a disappointment. In fact he insists: “I’m racing. It’s first place that I’m interested in, not the rest!”   

Charles Caudrelier, 18 February 

“The fastest routing has us finishing on Thursday evening or Friday, but we have slightly complicated weather at the end, so we’ll have to decide if we become embroiled in the weather system or sit it out for a bit to let the worst of it roll through. The weather for the end of the week is shaping up to be pretty boisterous, with very heavy seas. Either way, I hope we’ll finish by the end of the weekend.     
François Gabart’s record will not be beaten, but that was not my objective on a personal level. I’m in a race, not a record attempt, and I didn’t choose my weather window. Racing is a whole different ball game. There is some strategy involved in relation to adversaries and that changes everything. Prior to Cape Horn, when we had to stop for 48 hours to let the bad weather roll over us, it was an easier decision to make because we were in front with a sizeable lead over the 2nd boat. During a record attempt, you know the course and your rival’s schedule. That really changes the deal in terms of the way you tackle your own navigation.   
On paper, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has greater potential than Macif did at that time as we are flying around the world. However, what is notable on this course is that the weather is much more important than the potential of the boat. Record times, like the one for the Saint Exupéry in solo format or the crewed Jules Verne, are so low today that you need a perfect sequence of weather systems to beat them.”   

Ranking at 16:00 UTC   

1/ Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Charles Caudrelier     
2/ Sodebo Ultim 3 - Thomas Coville – 2,263.5 miles behind the leader   
3/ Maxi Banque Populaire XI - Armel Le Cleac’h - 2 578,2 milles behind the leader (on a pit stop in Rio)  4/ Actual Ultim 3 - Anthony Marchand – 5,940.8 miles behind the leader 
5/ Ultim Adagio - Eric Peron 6,468.1 miles behind the leader     

Abandon  SVR Lazartigue - Tom Laperche  

The content that appears on this website is protected by copyright.
Any reproduction or representation is strictly forbidden.

For further information, please refer to the legal notice section.
Enter at least 4 characters...