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PlanetSail Episode 30: The Incredible Race

by Matt Sheahan 22 Mar 06:15 PDT
PlanetSail Episode 30: The Incredible Race © PlanetSail

Before the six skippers had even started the solo race around the world in their 32m giant trimarans it was clear that the Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest was a very special race. While there is nothing new in solo circumnavigations, this challenge raised the bar beyond anything we have seen before.

And when each of the skippers stepped ashore after a 24,000 mile race that had seen most of them clock up more than 30,000 miles through the water, it was also clear just how much this race had meant to them.

  • "We are proud to be one of those who dared" - Eric Peron.
  • "This history belongs to us, it will be remembered for the rest of our lives" - Thomas Coville
  • "I am just happy to have got to the finish like I did" - Charles Caudrelier.
In this episode two of the pioneers of solo circumnavigation, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dee Caffari talk exclusively to Matt Sheahan about what happened and why this race was so special.

With archive footage from 1994 Sir Robin also looks back at his team's performance aboard ENZA when they broke the record for a fully crewed circumnavigation while Dee considers what she has learned from the Ultims for team's current campaign to set a new record around the world.

The 2023/24 season has been extraordinary for circumnavigations with three individual races taking place. At the other end of the speed/budget/size scale to the Ultims, Cole Brauer, in her diminutive Class 40, sent the US the newswires into a frenzy as she became the first American woman to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Robin and Dee discuss the significance of her race, her second place as well as that of the winner, Philippe Delamare.

Plus, it's showtime as we head to Amsterdam to search out some of the latest cool kit in the marine world and we take a visit to Henri Lloyd to find out how and why one of the biggest names in the business felt the need to back to basics.

As always, there's a double helping of Docktalk too.

00:35 Sir Robin Knox Johnston - The challenges of racing around the world
13:07 Dee Caffari MBE - How the Arkea Ultim Challenge played out
29:36 America's Cup series update
34:20 METS - Marine Equipment Trade Show
51:35 Henri Lloyd - The Big Change

31:14 Aegean 600
32:15 Doyle Sails
33:16 Rondal
49:32 HH Cats - HH44
50:33 Yacht Match

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