18 days and 05 hours 44 minutes 5 seconds. This is the time it took Charles Caudrelier at the helm of Edmond de Rothschild to pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin on Thursday evening. Having left Brest on January 7, the winner of the Route du rhum largely dominates the Arkéa Ultim Challenge with an impressive passage time at the western tip of Australia since this is lower than that of François Gabart in 2017 with Macif (1 day 8 hours, 25 minutes and 55 seconds ahead). The latter still holds the record for the solo round the world trip in 42 days 16:40:35. Launched at an average of 29.54 knots since the start, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is now heading towards Tasmania, which it should reach on Saturday morning.
Behind, Thomas Coville confided that he had resolved the problems with his port foil. Sodebo is 1,799 miles behind the leader, which corresponds to more than two days of very high-speed seas. “It’s an immense joy, a moment of rare intensity. It never goes as planned but we did it, after hard work from the whole team. We made something beautiful out of it,” confided the dean of the race (55 years old) in a video published Thursday.
Friday morning at 9 a.m., Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) was the fastest boat in the small fleet with an average speed of 31.1 miles per hour but the "Chacal", on the podium at 2604 miles from Caudrelier , was slowed down during the night without knowing the reason (technical problem or crossing of a less advantageous wind zone).
Tom Laperche (SVR Lazartigue) is still on a technical stopover in Cape Town (South Africa) to try to repair the leak on his boat but the chances of seeing him leave are dwindling as the hours pass. Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim) should also reach the South African port in the coming hours to repair his very damaged port foil. Éric Péron (Adagio) should follow after announcing this Friday morning a problem on his giant of the seas damaged at the rudder level, deemed “uncontrollable” and without a spare helm sector. The sailor is expected this Sunday. Three boats out of the six departing from Brest should therefore be stopped.