Earlier today, on Wednesday, December 4, at 0924 UTC, the maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the finish line in the first edition of the Brest Atlantiques. In doing so, the victorious doublehanded crew of Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier completed the 17,083-mile course from Brest, France, to Brazil and then South Africa and back in just 28 days, 23 hours, 24 minutes. Their average speed during the race, which began November 5th, was 24.57 knots.
Think about that for a moment. A crew of two just sailed the length and breadth of the North and South Atlantic aboard a 100ft trimaran at an average speed that would have gotten them a ticket driving in a school zone here in the States.
Two of the three other boats that left Brest in November, Macif and Actual Leader, remain on the open Atlantic, still racing. A fourth boat, Sodebo, abandoned in South Africa after sustaining rudder damage.
“For the past month, we’ve had highs and lows. It was a very tough race, and we’ve known from the start how demanding it would be,” Cammas said after the finish. “What pace to set on the boat is a constant question. We try to be reasonable as it’s a long race, and there’s no point taking needless risks. There were times when we were at full-pelt, but we also had to ease off the throttle too at times. Overall, we tried to never go into the red, particularly so in the South Atlantic when there was a tough depression to negotiate. We got through it quickly, but we really got shaken about. The boat is very solid and really excels at rolling with the punches. In this way, we’ve had a lot more ideas for the boat and we’re now going to put this experience to good use for the upcoming races.”
As for Caludrelier, he couldn’t have been happier. “The boat? I’m in love with her! I’ve loved her from day one,” he said. “I’d kind of lost the faith a bit after three round the worlds on a very testing boat (including two Volvo Ocean Races), but this trimaran is one of the finest in the world and above all one of the quickest offshore. The first boat designed to fly across the open ocean, she was created by Guillaume Verdier and the whole of Gitana Team. No boat has ever flown offshore for so long and we’re looking forward to the launch of the new trimarans next year.”
For more on the race, including the current positions of Macif and Actual Leader, click here.