Sunday in the Indian Ocean
This Sunday at 12:30 UTC will mark a fortnight at sea for Charles Caudrelier in the Arkea Ultim Challenge. Since passing the Agulhas Cape at the tip of South Africa on Friday afternoon, the firm leader of the round the world ULTIM race has been navigating the Indian Ocean and he is not hanging around. Managing to slip ahead of a depression four days ago in the South Atlantic, the Gitana Team sailor has been racking up over 800-mile days and, over the course of today, he’ll pass the symbolic barrier of 10,000 miles covered over the ground since the start in Brest on 7 January. Last Wednesday night through into Thursday, the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild even came close to posting a new record time for the greatest distance covered in 24 hours: 842 miles posted compared with the reference 850, which François Gabart clocked up in 2017. However, these figures are of no concern to Charles Caudrelier as he admitted yesterday in his latest videos from the ocean. Instead, the skipper is totally dedicated to being completely at one with his fantastic flying machine and getting her making headway.
Sunday jaunt offshore of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands

The Arkea Ultim Challenge is the first single-handed round the world race for ULTIMs, yet first and foremost it is an adventure. An extraordinary maritime challenge, it is leading a set of committed men towards extreme and remote latitudes where few sailors can pride themselves on one day venturing into. This Sunday morning, Charles Caudrelier passed the Crozet Islands, the first archipelago of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF), which are made up of five administrative districts: the Crozet archipelago, the Kerguelen Islands, Saint Paul and Amsterdam, Adélie Land and the Eparses Islands. This is not the first circumnavigation of the globe for the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (three to his credit in the Volvo Ocean Race), but it is the first time he has been racing in these waters single-handed and on a multihull.

>> today’s images: sunrise in the Forties

To each their weather scenario

Last night, Thomas Coville joined Charles Caudrelier navigating the waters of the Indian Ocean. At midday, Sodebo Ultim 3 was lying some 1,276 miles astern of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, whilst the Maxi Banque Populaire XI and Actual Ultim 3 were still caught in the clutches of the Saint Helena High lamenting a deficit of over 2,700 miles.
This massive separation comes largely as a result of the weather. By managing to hitch a ride on the string of depressions rolling in from the Deep South and keeping ahead of the front associated with one of them, Charles Caudrelier was ideally placed to lengthen his stride for four days on a long tack to the south-east. This long ‘straight’ course and the days spent making high speed have enabled him to really extend away from his pursuers, who are in another weather system altogether now. Since yesterday, manoeuvres have been par for the course again on the deck of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. Indeed, the five-arrow giant is close to the Antarctic Exclusion Zone managing to strike the right balance between wind strength and sea state. This famous AEZ mapped out and governed by Race Management for the Arkea Ultim Challenge, takes the form of a virtual line, which the competitors are forbidden from crossing if they are to avoid a penalty.

Ranking at the 11:00 UTC position report   

1) Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Charles Caudrelier
2) Sodebo Ultim 3 - Thomas Coville – 1,276.5 miles behind the leader 
3) SVR Lazartigue - Tom Laperche – 2,718.1 miles behind the leader  (victim of serious damage, making for Cape Town)
4) Maxi Banque Populaire XI - Armel Le Cleac’h – 2,718.1 miles behind the leader 
5) Actual Ultim 3 - Anthony Marchand – 2,741.8 miles behind the leader   
6) Ultim Adagio - Eric Peron – 3,965.1 miles behind the leader 

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