Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012
Product Feature
Allen A2030 - 30mm Dynamic Bearing Block
Allen A2030 - 30mm Dynamic Bearing Block
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

A grand departure for Brest Atlantiques

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson 5 Nov 16:59 GMT 5 November 2019
2019 Brest Atlantiques start © Yvan Zedda / Brest Atlantiques

The four Ultim 32/23 Class trimarans took off on Tuesday 5th November at 11am on the "Brest Atlantiques" race, a new 14,000 mile double-handed race that will take them non-stop to Rio and then Cape Town, before heading back to Brest.

After five hours of racing at an average speed of 30 knots, the Trimaran Macif (François Gabart/Gwénolé Gahinet) and the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas/Charles Caudrelier) are in the lead.

A white and frothing sea, average winds of 28/30 knots, gusts a little below 40, clear skies and a beautiful autumnal light, these were the conditions for the grand departure of the "Brest Atlantiques" today at 11am at the foot of the Chaussée de Sein - the perfect send off for these gigantic trimarans in the Ultimate Class 32/23. The day before, given the harsh weather forecast, the eight sailors involved had announced their intention not to "do anything stupid", to use the expression of Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild), while Yves Le Blevec (Actual Leader) talked of the "skilful balance between safe seafaring and competition". They kept their word, with all of them setting off near the Western Seine, on the starboard tack under a reduced mainsail and rolled headsails.

This did not prevent them, however, from crossing the 2.5 mile line, from which they set off at nearly 30 knots, which is proof of the power of these 32m by 23m trimarans, before lengthening their stride an hour later once the J3 (small headsail) had been furled. "We're leaving for a month at sea, there's no point in breaking everything now, but at the same time, we don't want to stop, because we all want to go as fast as possible, it's the eternal dilemma of ocean racing," were the words of François Gabart (Trimaran Macif) three hours earlier when leaving the Malbert quay. Now it's the Trimaran Macif up against the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild at the head of the fleet, after four hours racing at an average speed of 30 knots.

The four trimarans should finish between 11pm and midnight with this dreaded Bay of Biscay, before setting upon "a fabulous ride towards Brazil", to use the expression of Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3) as he was leaving Brest. "Cape Finisterre will already be a big step forward, it's crazy to think that we'll be in Spain tonight. Afterwards, it's going to be a little more relaxing and we're really going to be able to get into the performance, it's going to be great," said Gwénolé Gahinet, while Franck Cammas added: "I can't wait for tonight! We'll try to get out unharmed in Cape Finisterre, then we can attack more. "

In the words of the Race Director Jacques Caraës: "The sea was delicate at Chaussée de Sein, so the four boats all set off under mainsail alone. The Trimaran Macif was the most northwards at the very beginning of the race, but after one hour, she unfurled her J3 and flunked towards the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild which, with only two reefs (compared to three for the other three boats), was a little more covered. These departure conditions were in line with the previous day's briefing, and in 12 hours, the first ones will be at Cape Finisterre. They will have to set up one or two gybes before heading due south, with the route continuing to allow the fastest boats to cross the equator in 4.5 days."

Patricia Brochard (President of the Ultim Class 32/23): "The departure days are always very moving, there is both tension and a certain sense of liberation; it is rather paradoxical. We know they're going to have twelve hard hours to start with, with heavy seas and wind, that obviously adds a little to the emotion. So there's always a bit of a pinch in your heart, but you also have the pleasure of seeing them leave doing what they dream of. It is also a great joy to have these four boats facing each other on this first race just as we really wanted; the fact that we've succeeded in doing this event, which is a first in such a short time, is a great satisfaction."

François Cuillandre, Mayor of Brest, said: "Until now, Brest has been more of a record setting port; we had wanted to get back into ocean racing for some time, so it is a great pleasure and privelege for Brest to see the Brest Atlantiques race set off today. The village here has been extraordinary, it has been extremely busy despite the rainy weather, with many people coming to see these magnificent boats, the most beautiful and fastest in the world, led by extraordinary sailors. I think there will still be many people arriving over the course of the next thirty days."

For more information visit www.brestatlantiques.com.

Related Articles

Brest Atlantiques Day 10: The Ultim battle resumes
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild were the first to pass through the Cagarras Islands today What a day of twists and turns for "Brest Atlantiques"! Maxi Edmond de Rothschild were the first to pass through the Cagarras Islands today at 12:16, followed by Actual Leader in second. Posted on 14 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 9
MACIF approaches Rio tonight for a pitstop Following Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's pitstop on Tuesday, MACIF remains in the lead of "Brest Atlantiques", but tonight will be making a stop themselves in Rio De Janeiro for repairs to their central hull rudder. Posted on 13 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 8
Heading for an upwind crossing from Rio to Cape Town This morning at 9:18am, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild arrived at Salvador de Bahia where Gitana's technical team has been working to repair its daggerboard. Posted on 12 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 7
Commando operations to take place in Bahia and Rio A quarter of the total distance of Brest Atlantiques has now been covered in more or less six days by the four trimarans of the Ultim Class 32/23. The second week of the race promises to be a busy one Posted on 11 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 6
First break for Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, but a stop is scheduled After five days of racing on the Brest Atlantiques course, the Doldrums delivered a favourable verdict for Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, the team was hardly slowed down compared to its rivals. Posted on 10 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 5
Damage to trimaran MACIF as they enter the Dodrums Despite a smooth race for the Ultim 32/23 class trimarans since the start of Brest Atlantiques, in the early hours of this morning, trimaran MACIF hit an unidentified floating object (UFO) which damaged the central rudder Posted on 9 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 4
Cape Verde Islands before the Doldrums The "Brest Atlantiques" race is in full swing this Friday with the fleet, currently led by Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, speeding towards the equator. Friday evening's challenge is managing the wind off the Cape Verde Islands Posted on 8 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 3
Heading south in average trade winds and a calming sea Following a bumpy start sailing across the Bay of Biscay and rounding the Azores High, the main topic of the day has been when to make the gybe, the first one of the race, in order to make the most direct course south towards the equator and Brazil. Posted on 7 Nov
Brest Atlantiques day 2
Flying at over 30 knots off Gibraltar Thirty hours into racing and all four of the trimarans competing on the Brest Atlantiques race have already reached the latitudes of Gibraltar, most of them averaging around 30 knots with top speeds of at over 40. Posted on 6 Nov
2019 Brest Atlantiques: And they are off!
The four trimarans depart at 30 knots Trimaran Macif was the first to cross the line, and shifted slightly northwards ahead of the three other competitors: Actual Leader, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Sodebo Ultim 3, who were all at the southern end of the 2.5-mile line. Posted on 5 Nov