Please select your home edition
Lloyd Stevenson - Artnautica60 728x90px TOP

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 34 morning update

by Andi Robertson 9 Feb 00:18 PST 9 February 2024

In fifth place on the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest Éric Péron, racing the non foiling Adagio Ultim was just about to cross Cape Leeuwin this Friday morning at around 0730hrs. At the other end of the race course, climbing north in the South Atlantic Charles Caudrelier is making modest speeds on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

Péron progressed at a good pace all night. He is well positioned ahead of a front and so has maintained averages of more than 28 knots, and so making quick work of the second of his three Great Capes. On a quite northerly route pointing more towards New Zealand, Anthony Marchand advances at solid speeds considering that depression ahead of him has left him some nasty, unruly seas.

There is nothing to choose in terms of boat speed between Thomas Coville and Armel le Cléac'h, both actually sailing exactly the same mileage over the 24 hours to 0630hrs UTC this morning, 760 nautical miles. The duo are advancing at good speed towards Cape Horn, in a north-westerly wind flow which will be with them until they exit the southern oceans over the weekend.

Then it will get tougher, requiring them to negotiate light upwind conditions at first, before getting into much tougher conditions downwind. This will be worse for Thomas Coville, who looks set to get into a large depression which will come from the west, forecast to bring 50 knot gusts and big seas. And there is still ice, being monitored 20 miles east of Staten Island. Race management do not plan to restrict the route of the two skippers in light of this incoming depression.

"We will not close the door," confirms Assistant Race Director Guillaume Evrard. "When Thomas goes up the Le Maire Strait, he risks being affected by the venturi effect generated by the land mass and so he needs options."

Leader Charles Caudrelier also has a routing puzzle to solve. As he climbs north the skipper of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild had a huge anticyclonic zone as forming to his west, between him and the continent. For a long time the question was whether the leader was going to try his luck in the eastern South Atlantic or whether he was going to stay much closer to the coast where the wind is better but largely upwind.

His course in recent hours seems to confirm his intention to take the more painful upwind option, closer to the land which will surely put beyond doubt any hopes of a solo round the world record as in 2017 Francois Gabart had a dream weather sequence from the Horn to the finish line.

Clearly, for the moment, Caudrelier has had the best of his luck on the first two thirds of the course.

Follow the race tracking on

Related Articles

Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 55 morning update
Waiting for Armel The day after second placed Thomas Coville's finish, attention is now focused on the Maxi Banque Populaire XI which is expected to finish on Sunday. In the South Atlantic, Anthony Marchand (4th) and Éric Péron (5th) are still battling in very light winds. Posted today at 9:08 am
Warm Brest welcome for Thomas Coville
The French solo skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 crossed the line at 13:42:40hrs UTC on Thursday Charles Caudrelier, winner of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest on Tuesday, may have been granted dream conditions for his victorious finish on Tuesday but thousands of well wishers braved the Breton drizzle to welcome home second placed Thomas Coville Posted on 29 Feb
Thomas Coville, Sodebo Ultim 3, takes second place
In the Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest Thomas Coville the French solo skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 crossed the line off Brest to finish the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest at 13:42:40hrs UTC this Thursday afternoon, to take second place. Posted on 29 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 54 morning update
Armel Le Cléac'h, a night of repairs, Coville due on finish line around 1300hrs today Armel Le Cléac'h, a night of repairs, Coville due on finish line around 1300hrs today Posted on 29 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 53 morning update
Who's next? Coville in tomorrow, Thursday The morning after a beautiful finish for race winner Charles Caudrelier, full focus returns to the four other skippers still in the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest race. Posted on 28 Feb
The first king of the Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest
Charles Caudrelier crowned in Brest and lauded by the sailing world Blessed with a perfect sunrise, flat seas and a modest 15kts breeze as he approached the long awaited finish line off Brest this morning Charles Caudrelier took time to enjoy the final ten miles of his solo multihull race round the world. Posted on 27 Feb
Caudrelier wins the Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finishes the solo multihull race around the world French solo racer Charles Caudrelier, skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the finish line off the coast of Brest, this Tuesday morning at 8h 37mn 42s local time (UTC+1hrs) to win the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest. Posted on 27 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 51
The last hours at sea for leader Charles Caudrelier French skipper Charles Caudrelier spent his 50th birthday and his 50th day of racing since leaving Brest on Sunday 7th January keeping his giant blue and white Verdier designed ULTIM Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on a very tight, short rein. Posted on 26 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 51 morning update
Caudrelier's finish is expected to be between midnight and noon This Monday morning the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest leader Charles Caudrelier, the solo skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, has about 455 miles to the finish line. But the conditions remain tough all the way to Brest. Posted on 26 Feb
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 50
Thomas Coville reflects before his final big charge to the finish In second place on ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest solo multihull round the world race, Thomas Coville is working west of the Azores high pressure system, and has just under 1500 miles to the finish line in Brest. Posted on 25 Feb
Lloyd Stevenson - TTSkorpios 728x90px BOTTOMHenri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW FOOTERCyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTER