WAYPOINT #7, Gitana Team’s round the world rendez-vous
Every Thursday, throughout the Arkea Ultim Challenge, Gitana Team is offering you a complete round-up of Charles Caudrelier and the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild’s race. Via its weekly video broadcast, you’ll discover the latest onboard footage, analysis of the weather and strategy as explained by the members of the team’s routing cell, as well as delving behind the scenes of the five-arrow racing stable whilst its flagship is out on the racetrack. Finally, this rendez-vous will round off with a long oceanic interview recorded by a different star guest. Charles will share his feelings and his sentiments with the host throughout this epic adventure.

It's already the seventh episode of WAYPOINT! And above all, it’s already more than 39 days since the solo sailors in the Arkea Ultim Challenge cast off from Brest for this first round the world race in ULTIM. The climb back up the Atlantic, renowned for being demanding in this epic planetary course, has remained true to form and is really putting the men and the machines to the test.

At the 16:00 UTC ranking, Charles Caudrelier was positioned some 3,500 miles from the finish holding onto a lead of nearly 1,500 miles over Armel Le Cléac’h and 2,200 miles ahead of Thomas Coville. Unfortunately, this hierarchy is likely to be shaken up over the next few days as Team Banque Populaire announced a pit stop in Brazil this morning, following damage to their central rudder.  

As is the case every week, this latest chapter of WAYPOINT kicks off with some images sent from on board by the sailor of Gitana Team. The content is somewhat rarer than in previous episodes but, having a rough ride due to the weather, the skipper could only apologise!

Within the weather routing cell, we hook up with Erwan Israël for this week’s debrief. Using a colour map, he details the phenomena with which the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has had to contend since hanging a left at the southernmost tip of South America. Amidst a powerful depression and managing zones of light and shifty winds, the past week has been far from restful for the trio of routers as well.

On shore, within Gitana Team’s base in Lorient, the team is dividing its time between following the race and the elaboration of future projects, starting with construction of Gitana 18, the five-arrow racing stable’s new giant. However, some more atypical projects are also under study, including that of TRIMAROS, the details of which are kindly shared with us by Alice Duvivier, one of the naval architects from the in-house design office.

With the satellite connections being much better in these latitudes close to the equator, this Thursday 15 February we were delighted to have a visit from Charlie Dalin. The skipper of the monohull Macif Santé prévoyance, Charlie is a big name in the IMOCA class. A key mover and shaker in the last Vendée Globe, which saw him secure second place, he is also a flying boat aficionado so he’s been following the race with an especially keen eye because, in just a few months’ time, he will be back at the start of the Everest of the Seas in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Welcome to the 7th episode of WAYPOINT!

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