Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 49 morning update

by Andi Robertson 24 Feb 01:31 PST 24 February 2024

Sheltered in the Azores since last Wednesday, the leader of the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest Charles Caudrelier should leave today which could see him cross the finish line between Monday noon and Tuesday noon according to Race Direction. In second Thomas Coville continues to climb the North Atlantic whilst Armel Le Cléac'h in third crossed the equator yesterday. Anthony Marchand in fourth and Éric Péron, fifth, are progressing at good speeds off the Argentinian coast.

It is in the nature of long ocean races that sometimes solo skippers lose their sense of time, forgetting days and dates. But then they are summarily reminded by the wealth of data on board, the tracking, the study of the weather and messages from loved ones too. A few days before arrival, Charles Caudrelier already knows now he is a little late for what should have been the start of his winter mid term holidays he had planned with his kids. He had promised them he would be back in Brest for the start of the school holidays. He might still make it Monday, his 50th birthday. "That would be a beautiful story to tell my grandchildren", he said yesterday.

A finish between Monday noon and Tuesday noon

He still has the 1200 miles last stretch to Brest to complete. His Gitana team press release said Caudrelier "should be able to be back racing this Saturday".

"For the moment, the team has not given us any details about a possible re-start," explains Pierre Hays, assistant race director. "He should leave during the day or even in the morning."

Despite the wait in the Azores, the conditions still promise to be tough.

"It will still be fairly challenging for him to get to Brest with 25 to 30 knots of wind, gusts of 30 to 35 knots and 6 to 7 meters of sea in the Bay of Biscay." If he starts racing again today Caudrelier should cross the finish line in Brest "between Monday noon and Tuesday noon" Hays reckons.

Coville - Le Cléac'h, mixed fortunes

Further south in the Atlantic Thomas Coville and Armel Le Cléac'h are also getting closer to home. The two skippers are expected in Brest at the end of the week. The Sodebo Ultim 3 skipper pointing at the Cape Verde islands. "He has had good average speeds over the past 24 hours, slightly below 30 knots," explains Hays. "Thomas has made good miles in recent hours with good winds for him, in a moderate easterly regime." Coville is taking a North-East route in order to stay with the maximum wind, even if he will have to face an anticyclonic ridge which could block his route at the end of the day.

His nearest rival Banque Populaire XI, now 1,200 miles away, crossed the equator yesterday at the end of the day. But Armel Le Cléac'h is still facing a complicated doldrums. Over the last 24 hours, he has been progressing around eight knots with light winds. "His doldrums have not been favorable," adds Hays. "He will have to wait until midday to find a trade wind regime of around 10 to 15 knots."

Marchand and Péron, fair progress and staying focused and vigilant

The ascent of the South Atlantic continues for Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3) and Éric Péron (ULTIM ADAGIO). "They have both had relatively strong winds over the last 24 hours, with 25 to 30 knots of wind. Actual had a regime of South, South-East, Adagio rather of South-West. But as they progress through the day and over the next 48 hours, it should ease to around fifteen knots."

As they skirt the coasts of Latin America they are having to constantly watch out for the fishermen and look out for shipping traffic such as they have not really used to seeing in recent days.

Follow the race tracking on

Related Articles

Éric Péron finishes fifth and completes the circle
Bringing the first edition of the Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest to a close Éric Péron sailing ULTIM ADAGIO crossed the finish line of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest at 14 h 44 27" to finish in fifth position, the final skipper to complete the 22, 460 nautical miles course which started on Sunday 7th January. Posted on 13 Mar
Anthony Marchand interview
"It took longer than expected but for me it was 64 days of training for the next one." Anthony Marchand: "It took longer than expected but for me it was 64 days of training for the next one." Posted on 11 Mar
Anthony Marchand on Actual Ultim 3 finishes
Fourth in the Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest French solo skipper Anthony Marchand took fourth place on the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest this afternoon when he sailed the ULTIM Actual Ultim 3 across the finish line off Brest at 14:08:21hrs UTC. Posted on 11 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 63
Yves Le Blevec: "Antho has shown incredible commitment" For a good few days now the pleasures that Yves Le Blevec has enjoyed in running routes for Anthony Marchand have been heightened all the more as the finish line of the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest is the final point on each and every route. Posted on 9 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 62
Friday's routers replay. “and now, the end is near...” After more than 60 days at sea, Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3, 4th) and Éric Péron (ULTIM ADAGIO, 5th) are getting into their last weekend on the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest. Posted on 8 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 61
Éric Péron (ULTIM ADAGIO): "I'm proud to be among those who dared" A round the world race is a concentrated package of everything - doubts, moments of great joy, damage and small victories. After days on end in light airs, Éric Péron is back in testing conditions in the trade winds. Posted on 7 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 60
Climbing north The two skippers still racing on the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest continue their northwards progress. Éric Péron (ULTIME ADAGIO, 5th), who crossed the equator last night, is finally done with the doldrums. Posted on 6 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 59
Anthony Marchand: "It's not been easy!" Fourth placed ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest skipper Anthony Marchand has really been feeling the fatigue recently. His last few days have been especially trying. Posted on 5 Mar
Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest day 58
Reasons to be cheerful, times three With Caudrelier, Coville, Le Cléac'h now finished the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest in first, second and third respectively, all eyes are now on the two skippers still racing, Anthony Marchand is fourth and 301 miles behind him is Éric Péron in fifth. Posted on 4 Mar
Le Cléac'h finishes Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest
Maintaining his record of finishing on the podium on all three of his solo round the world races Armel Le Cléac'h, winner of the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, maintained his record of finishing on the podium on all three of his solo round the world races so far when he crossed the finish line to complete the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest. Posted on 3 Mar
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERPredictWind - GPS 728x90 BOTTOMDoyle_SailWorld_728X90px-04 BOTTOM