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Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 18 morning update

by Andi Robertson 24 Jan 00:49 PST 24 January 2024

Four ULTIMS in the Indian

After Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire XI) crossed at 09:29hrs UTC yesterday morning and Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim) at 1825hrs UTC last night there are now four ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest skippers passed the Cape of Good Hope and then, some hours later, Cape Agulhas and into the Indian Ocean.

By comparison the leader, Charles Caudrelier on Edmond de Rothschild has had a relatively problem free passage in the Indian. He rode the same low pressure weather system since South America. And tonight a new depression will arrive from the west which will take him past Tasmania and into the Pacific before the weekend. He has had an active period, slowed between the two systems and gybing regularly to stay in the best breeze and avoid the AEZ ice exclusion zone.

Thomas Coville is with a depression on a northerly course making 25kts and is making good progress, pretty much half way between the leader Caudrelier and Armel Le Cléac'h who is now getting into the changeable moods of the Indian Ocean. Yesterday he said, "It's always better to be ahead of a depression, it's more complicated when it has passed and the sea is crossed. Right now I am still moving between the anticyclone and this big depression which is passing to the South but which should take us as far as Cape Leeuwin."

This morning, Actual Ultim 3 is sailing in a zone of light winds and a modest swell. He gybed yesterday evening and has been going north, his speed falling back to 16kts. Has he sought an area of lighter winds to further investigate his damaged port foil?

And still in a fortuitous N'ly breeze Éric Péron on the oldest, least powerful ULTIM in the the fleet is progressing at a good pace. He has passed close to the island of Tristan da Cunha, a British territory which is part of the Saint Helena archipelago the most isolated inhabited archipelago in the world. He still has 1500 miles to make to the Cape of Good Hope.

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