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Brest Atlantiques Day 17: The Ultim 32/23 Class takes over Cape Town

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson 21 Nov 18:39 GMT 21 November 2019
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Brest Atlantiques Day 17 © Yann Riou / PolaRYSE / Gitana SA

It has been a very exciting 24 hours on the Brest Atlantiques - with all four trimarans either passing by or making a pitstop at Cape Town. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild got the ball rolling, leaving Robben Island on Wednesday evening at 19:16.

During the night, MACIF made a pitstop before setting sail again at 9:20 this morning, hot on the heels of Actual Leader. Last but not least, Sodebo Ultim 3 has been docked at Cape Town since 10am.

After 15 days, nine hours and 16 minutes at sea, having covered a distance of 9161 miles at an average speed of 24.8 knots, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was the first trimaran to round the Robben Island course mark, at 19:16 yesterday evening. So, it was smooth sailing into the night for Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, who were nevertheless able to enjoy the sunset on Table Mountain. Franck tells us: "We went from 30 knots of wind to zero in less than a minute, and we wondered how long this would last. The wind then came back from the opposite direction and we were able to get moving again. Now our eyes are set on Brest."

A little less than eight hours later, MACIF arrived in Cape Town at 2:55am for a pitstop, which lasted 6 hours and 25 minutes. Returning to the race at 10:20 am, François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet rounded Robben Island 24 minutes later in third place, after Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in first, and Actual Leader in second, which is their best ranking since the start of the race.

In a video sent by the MACIF media man Jérémie Eloy, François Gabart commented on their second pitstop: "We had a few problems that made it difficult to manoeuvre the boat, so we made the most of being near the coast to make a short pitstop. We arrived just as day was breaking in Cape Town. We didn't have much time to appreciate the beauty around us, we just wanted to set sail again as soon as possible. The good news is that the boat is fully repaired."

Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias also made a pitstop just as MACIF was setting off again. Once they arrived on land, Thomas Coville explained: "We crossed MACIF as we were arriving. We then checked the damage to our three different rudders, and we are still yet to confirm whether the boat will be in full race mode. We'll know more tonight."

To find all the videos from on board and also ashore, please go to the Brest Atlantiques YouTube channel.

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