Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD

French skipper Charles Caudrelier wins the first Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest solo multihull race

by Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest 27 Feb 00:39 PST 27 February 2024

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, the first ever solo multihull race around the world, sailed in giant 32m long ULTIM class trimarans.

The race leader who has been unchallenged at the front of the race since the night of January 17, Caudrelier- triumphs on the first edition of this unprecedented race. Before he had to slow to avoid a huge storm at Cape Horn, at one point in the Pacific Ocean Caudrelier was ahead of the time needed to set a new all time record for sailing solo round the world.

His elapsed time is 50 days 19 hours 07 minutes 47 seconds since leaving Brest in the six boat fleet on Sunday 7th January.

After a thrilling head to head duel with 26 year old Tom Laperche down the South Atlantic, Caudrelier, who turned 50 years old on Monday, widened the gap to over 2500 miles ahead of his nearest rival after Laperche had to retire into Cape Town with damage caused by a collision.

Along his route, Caudrelier set a new record for the Indian Ocean and then proved he knew how to moderate his pace to look after his high tech flying ULTIM and give himself and the emblematic Gitana team the best chance of completing the 24,260 nautical miles course.

With a substantial lead Caudrelier put his race on hold - sailing at very slow speeds for more than 36 hours in the eastern Pacific - to avoid a storm at Cape Horn and latterly sat out storm Louis, stopped in the safety of the Azores last week to avoid any additional risk which might have jeopardised his win.

This success rewards more than ten years of endeavour by the Edmond de Rothschild Gitana team. They worked initially from 2011 with a MOD70 on which they developed the multihull foiling program before they launched the innovative Verdier designed Ultim in 2017.

Arriving two years later along with co-skipper Franck Cammas, Caudrlier, double winner of The Ocean Race -once as skipper, contributed to the boat's continued evolution and optimisation and the boat built up the most extensive track record of the class with some great victories with Caudrelier including the Brest Atlantique (2019), Fastnet (2019 and 2021), Transat Jacques Vabre (2021), Finistère Atlantique (2022) and blue riband solo Route du Rhum (2022).

After a frustrating Transat Jacques Vabre last autumn which was marked by numerous damages including problems with the steering system and a foil, finishing in third place, the Gitana team worked hard to repair to be ready for this race and to move forward.

"I've had my struggles but I know that things are turning round," said Caudrelier before the start of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest.

From the early days on this race he had to deal with small problems too including a break in his forward fairing. Although he succeeded in capturing a dream ride on a low pressure from the South Atlantic until the south of Australia, the second half of his race was much more problematic, including his pause before Cape Horn and his strategic halt into the Azores last week.

A popular, highly respected racer and leader among his peers, this is Caudrelier's biggest solo success and finally fulfils his youthful dreams of winning a singlehanded race around the world. Added to his Ocean Race wins he further establishes himself as one of the best skippers among the French greats.

Charles Caudrelier's victory in figures:

  • Finish time: 8 h 37 min 42 sec
  • Race time: 50 days 19 hours 7 min 42 sec
  • Miles traveled: 28 938,03 miles
  • Actual average speed: 23,74 knots
  • Average speed on the great circle: 19,93 knots

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
37th AC Store 2024-two-728X90 BOTTOMRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER