Gearing up for a photo finish?
Just a matter of hours from the outcome of the Finistère Atlantique Challenge Action Enfance, the end result is still far from certain. The duel continues between the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Banque Populaire XI and the shore teams await them with bated breath. Though Charles Caudrelier and his men are still hanging onto a lead of around twenty miles over Armel Le Cleac’h and his crew, the sailors that make up Gitana Team are keeping a cool head and are solely focused on getting 120% out of the five-arrow giant’s potential. However, they are all too aware how lots of tiny details could still turn the situation on its head. As such, the watchword over the final hours of racing has to be concentration! The latest ETAs suggest a finish between 16:00 and 18:00 UTC this Thursday.

At the 13:00 UTC position report, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was some 97 miles from Concarneau and racking up an average speed of around 30 knots. In her wake, slightly offset to leeward, Banque Populaire XI was also lengthening her stride and is proving to be very quick over this final section of the course, on a reach at the limit of flight. Late this morning, Charles Caudrelier, on watch trimming whilst Franck Cammas focused on helming the giant, gave us the low-down: “Conditions are complicated because we’re at the limit of flight, the boat taking off at 26/27 knots in a breeze that is a bit light and very shifty. When we’re airborne we’re making 30 knots and when we’re not flying, we’re making 25 knots, so it’s really challenging in terms of performance. It effectively means that you have to be dynamic in the trimming, with Franck.”

Turning their attention to the finish, the men of Gitana Team are keeping a close eye on their direct rival in the rear-view mirror: Banque Populaire is about twenty miles behind for now, but they have shifted across slightly, which is giving them a better angle, so there’s always a risk, because just a few degrees is all it takes to get the boat really accelerating. Right now, we’re about 60 degrees to the wind, we’re making 30 knots and we know that if we’re at 65 degrees we’re able to make headway at 35 knots. So that’s the challenge at the moment!” admitted the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.  

“The final change of tack last night was decisive. It was important to nail the timing of it in relation to our rival, even though we had a good lead. However, it wasn’t easy as we were keen to head a little further north, but we would have entered the zone of high pressure, so we were afraid we would stumble into light airs whilst they opted to tack under us and launch onto a direct course. We were at 90 degrees to the course at that point and we were closing on the centre of the high pressure to hunt down a wind rotation… Ultimately, they were the ones that took the more extreme option, but there weren’t really any other angles of attack and we know they won’t ease off the pressure. Each time we think we’ve beaten them, they come back and put us into some difficult situations. It’s a great battle though… I don’t know who’s going to win, but either way, we’ve both posted creditable performances and it will remain a great duel!” concluded Charles Caudrelier, keen to rediscover the bay of Port la Forêt, that of his childhood and, if at all possible, with another victory to the credit of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.



Positions at the ranking of 13:00 UTC

1.  Maxi Edmond de Rothschild  at 97,1 miles of the finish
2. Banque Populaire XI à 17 miles of the leader
3. Sodebo Ultim 3 à 302,8 miles of the leader
4. Actual Leader à 470,7 miles of the leader 


The Finistère Atlantique - Challenge Action Enfance

3,163-mile course across the North Atlantic

Concarneau, the Glénan archipelago, Madeira, Lanzarote (Canaries), Santa Maria (Azores), Concarneau (Brittany)


Crew on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

Charles Caudrelier, skipper

Franck Cammas, helm, navigator

Morgan Lagravière, helm, trimmer

David Boileau, trimmer, bowman

Erwan Israël, helm, trimmer

Yann Riou, media crew, helm


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...