Ultims – The last hours at sea Charles Caudrelier as he seeks to close out solo multihull round the world race win

26 FEBRUARY 2024: A tantalising three hundred miles from the finish line of the first ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest solo ULTIM round the world race, French skipper Charles Caudrelier spent his 50th birthday and his 50th day of racing since leaving Brest on Sunday 7th January keeping his giant blue and white Verdier designed ULTIM Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on a very tight, short rein, looking to keep behind the worst of a strong low pressure system so he can close out victory early tomorrow morning in more modest, manageable conditions. 

Caudrelier has been progressing at a very steady pace this afternoon, a little over 16 knots of speed in winds of around 20kts while the finish port of Brest and the Breton coast saw winds of 35-40kts this morning and waves of over five metres on the Bay of Biscay. 

Caudrelier’s most up to date ETA is around 0830hrs local time Tuesday morning (0730hrs UTC) on the finish line. Around an hour later Caudrelier and his team should enter the narrows of Brest harbour – between 1000hrs and 1030hrs local times – before docking quai du Commandant Malbert.

With 1700 miles to go, Thomas Coville has made more than 500 miles in the last 24 hours. The Sodebo Ultim 3 sailor should take second place, expected to finish on Thursday February 29. Finally having extricated himself from the light winds, Armel le Cléac’h now maintains an average of more than 20 knots and he too, now has made more than 500 miles in the last 24 hours. Some 2,400 miles from the finish, he is expected in Brest on Saturday March 2, or maybe Sunday. 

Closest to the Brazilian coast, Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3) is approximately 4,700 miles from the finish; 5000 miles from Brest, Éric Péron (ADAGIO) is heading further out to sea on the South American continent.

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