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Ultim Season Is Upon Us


  • Ultim Season Is Upon Us

    Engaged in the last straight line before the big autumn meeting of ocean racing, between Saint-Malo and Pointe-a-Pitre, the Ultims will face each other one last time before November 6, the start date of the 12th Route. of Rum – Destination Guadeloupe.
    A few days before the start of the 24H Ultim, the teams are fine-tuning their preparation. Last confrontation in race mode before the Route du Rhum, this event in false solo will allow the 4 skippers* present to validate the last adjustments and to calibrate their level of performance. Before the start on Saturday October 1 at 12 p.m.**, they will take part in three sessions of speed runs off Lorient this Friday September 30.
    The race director, Gildas Morvan, and all the participants come back to the objectives of the event.

    Sail boats in race mode

    With a first day which will allow the teams to share exceptional moments with their guests during three sessions of speed runs, place at the large part of the event: a course of 24 hours, between 500 and 600 miles, in the Gulf of Gascony. The objective is simple, prepare one last time in race mode and solo before joining Saint Malo for the start of the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe.

    Gildas Morvan, the race director explains: “Taking a solo start in a race, and not in training, is always interesting one month before the end of the season. The objective is to sail the boats in competition mode, on long tacks and at all speeds. This will give us an idea of ​​which boat goes the fastest upwind, which is the fastest downwind or which is doing well on the reach. The idea is to offer a route that is varied enough to see which boat is the most optimized at all speeds. The latter is still under study, it will be stopped the day before depending on the expected weather conditions."

    Review your ranges

    For the teams, this last official confrontation will allow them to revise the automatisms of a race start, as Armel Le Cleac'h, skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire XI explains: "A little over a month from the start of the Route du Rhum, it's important to have this race in order to test yourself one last time. It's a good exercise to do a few weeks before the start, in real conditions and at a time when the boat will be almost ready. For the whole team and for me, it's worth a dress rehearsal. You have to get ready for the start: succeed in the maneuvers when leaving the port, ensure the moment when the team jumps into the water and manage the pressure before setting off... Our objective is above all to validate one last time all the systems on board, check that everything is operational."

    The same goes for the newcomer to the Class, Arthur Le Vaillant at the helm of Mieux: “It's always interesting to start races, especially on these boats. This will be my first start in Ultim, it's good to do that before the Rhum. This race will allow me to spend time on the water and train on a life-size basis, to continue to tame the boat, find automatic mechanisms, revise the manoeuvres."

    For Thomas Coville, skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3, the 24H Ultim is a great opportunity almost a month before the Route du Rhum: “All the confrontations are interesting, especially a few weeks before the Route du Rhum. This race puts us in a good dynamic and it's great to create this kind of event with local players, here in Lorient."

    Not to mention the competition...

    We can't get over it, all the sailors intend to do well and be on the top step of the podium, like Armel Le Cleac'h who admits: "We're going to try to get into the rhythm , in the intensity of what the start of the Route du Rhum could be. We will try to seek a high level of commitment and try to grab a place on the top of the podium. It can only be beneficial in terms of confidence and motivation as we approach this big meeting. " Thomas Coville who adds: “Almost all the boats are in the final configuration, the one with which we will be at the start on November 6th. For me aboard Sodebo Ultim 3, it's another opportunity to progress solo."

    The program

    Friday, September 30
    9 a.m.: skippers briefing
    10:30 a.m.: Casting off
    11 a.m.: Start of the first run
    3:30 p.m.: End of runs

    Saturday, October 1
    9 a.m.: Skippers briefing
    10:30 a.m. : Casting off
    12 p.m.: Departure of the 24 Hours Ultim (schedule to be confirmed depending on weather conditions)

    Sunday, October 2
    11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: ETA Ultim
    3 p.m. : presentation of the “24H Ultim” Trophy

    The teams

    Maxi Banque Populaire XI
    Armel Le Cleac'h
    Pierre-Emmanuel Herisse
    Sebastien Josse (media man)

    Arthur Le Vaillant
    Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant
    Gauthier Lebec (media man)

    Sodebo Ultim 3
    Thomas Coville
    Martin Keruzore (media man)

    Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
    Charles Caudrelier
    Morgan Lagraviere
    Yann Riou (media man)

    *Yves Le Blevec announced this Tuesday, September 27 his non-participation in the 24H Ultim for personal reasons.
    **Timetable to be confirmed depending on weather conditions
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