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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 50 morning update

by Andi Robertson 24 Feb 23:51 PST 24 February 2024

The long road home

Less than 1000 miles from the Brest finish line of the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest, Charles Caudrelier is closing the final miles carefully on the Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

Caudrelier returned to the race course a little over 24 hours ago after a technical, strategic stopover, which lasted three days. Sitting out storm Louis in the Azores archipelago, Caudrelier said "It's not summer up ahead of us. We're going out again very carefully".

And he is sticking to his words. In 24 hours, the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild covered a conservative 430 miles on big seas, coming in behind the big depression which has struck the French Atlantic coasts.

On this Sunday, February 25 at 8 a.m., the leader still has 860 miles to go, on a long port tack, in a northerly wind of about 25 knots. Cargo ships and fishing boats need to be increasingly taken into account and so he will remain ultra cautious until the finish line is broken.

In second Thomas Coville is making good progress in the western Atlantic. His route is governed by an anticyclonic zone which prevents him from taking a more direct path towards the Azores. The Sodebo Ultim 3 skipper will stay on the same tack and the same route for another 48 hours before he will curve his trajectory towards the north-east, coming in behind a depression all the way to Brest, where he should arrive February 29, perhaps the 1st of March.

This morning Coville was approximately 2,300 miles from the finish. 600 miles behind, Armel Le Cléac'h is still being punished in stop start conditions. The Maxi Banque Populaire XI skipper is still struggling to find the conditions for speed. Since crossing the equator on February 23, he has made only 437 miles. He has three good days of northeast wind ahead of him, not very strong but which should strengthen in 48 hours. Armel Le Cléac'h is 3000 miles from the finish.

Anthony Marchand in fourth has managed to regain some of the ground he lost to the charging Éric Péron. Actual Ultim skipper Marchand still has a 600 mile lead over Adagio this Sunday morning. Éric Péron is keeping up the pace, even if his Saturday saw the need for minor repairs and a period of concentrated recovery from his efforts since the start. His concern today is not to get trapped by an anticyclonic zone, so explaining his north-easterly course over the past two days.

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