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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest day 55: The Marchand-Péron match under the microscope

by Andi Robertson 1 Mar 12:35 PST 1 March 2024

The Marchand-Péron match under the microscope

While there are already two skippers finished on the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest and the podium should be completed this Sunday by Armel Le Cléac'h (Maxi Banque Populaire XI), two skippers are still battling it out in the South Atlantic: Anthony Marchand (4th) and Éric Péron (5th).

Yves Le Blevec, director of the Actual team, and David Lanier, router of the ULTIM ADAGIO, look back on the last few days of racing for their two respective skippers and ahead to the coming period.

Le Blevec: "It won't be easy until the end!"

"Anthony has had to deal with a real period of calm for five to six days. We have never encountered this situation before, it really is totally improbable. 'Antho' deals with it very well even if he sees that Éric Péron is coming up from behind with an offshore option which he could not take. We knew that a few days later, it was going to 'open up' for the offshore, easterly option but we would almost have to turn round to go offshore. 'Antho' is going where an opening is emerging. We count the scores north of Brazil. At the same time, there are quite comfortable conditions to be in cooler conditions. The weather is nice, it's hot. But the slow speed ends up being frustrating and sailing without a foil is very complicated, very uncomfortable. It makes it difficult to move forward and it goes slower. It was very hard in the Pacific but 'Antho' got used to it. It won't be easy until the end. But he should arrive in Brest within ten days: we are starting to make routings until the finish, that's a good sign! "

Lanier: "we still did the hardest part"

"Éric is faced with the fact that there are not really any trade winds. He lives with it and uses what little wind there is. We had the choice of going very close to the land but that was also going upwind and we wanted to avoid that. The advantage now is that he is heading towards the East, downwind, which allows him to get closer to Anthony. This match is going to be interesting and stimulating for Éric. He has already seen everything: he was 3,000 miles back and then came back to 300 miles behind at to Cape Horn, he was then slowed down by technical problems and then he manages to come back again... Can he continue to come back on Anthony? Either way, it's a nice challenge.

Eric still has three days on starboard in 5 to 15 knots of wind. We have still done the hard part. Afterwards we will have to cross the doldrums with a new windless zone of 24 hours before finally getting into the trade winds. He still had to deal with a zone of almost 2,000 miles without wind when usually, you can cross it in 15 to 20 knots. It's surprising but you have to deal with it!"

Follow the race tracking on www.arkeaultimchallengebrest.com/en

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