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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 53 morning update

by Andi Robertson 28 Feb 00:39 PST 28 February 2024

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. Well up the North Atlantic, Thomas Coville (2nd) is expected to finish on Thursday, Armel Le Cléac'h (3rd) should be in on the weekend. Anthony Marchand (4th) and Éric Péron (5th) are making difficult progress in the South Atlantic.

At 0600hrs this morning Coville had just under 700 miles to go to the finish. He is at the latitude of the Bay of Biscay, "Thomas continues to make good way with decent downwind conditions" highlights Guillaume Rottee, the race director. "His route is a little less direct than the one Charles could make. Thomas will have to do at least one, or even two gybes before finishing."

The second placed Sodebo Ultim 3 skipper will benefit from a fairly strong westerly wind, maybe 20 to 25 knots which should ease as he approaches Brest. His finish should follow a similar timing to Caudrelier.

Freshly, clean shaven Armel Le Cléac'h maybe appears to be getting ready for his finish but the skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire XI has gone the long way round the anticyclone to the west "He is following the western curve of the anticyclone to the north of the Azores before heading east." Rottee notes this morning. Armel's finish could potentially be Saturday night but more likely they will settle for a nice Sunday morning arrival.

Marchand and Péron ETA at the equator next Monday Anthony Marchand and Éric Peron face a "very complicated" situation as they climb the Brazilian coast. Marchand moved closer to the coast to get some wind downwind conditions while Éric Péron opted for a more offshore strategy. "They are in a not very clear transition phase, sandwiched between several anticyclones."

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