“Sometimes all it takes is a grain. Within a few hundred meters, you pass or you get stuck.” Still in the hunt for Maxi Banque Populaire, firmly established at the top of the Ultim Class ranking, Charles Caudrelier was counting on entering the dreaded Doldrums and its capricious winds to, perhaps, benefit from a new situation and benefit from a good strategic choice.
It is clear that the passage through this zone of unstable winds did not favor the winner of the Route du Rhum 2022 and his friend Erwan Israel. Worse, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, after having made up part of his gap, has even fallen back in the hierarchy in recent hours, dropped by SVR Lazartigue who is now ahead of him by around ten miles.
At 10 a.m. this Sunday, the François Gabart-Tom Laperche tandem was 102 miles from the Armel Le Cleac'h-Sébastien Josse pair who passed by the rocks of São Pedro and São Paulo traveling at more than 25 knots. The leaders, who have therefore perfectly negotiated the Doldrums, will head towards Ascension, before the final straight towards Martinique.
At the foot of the podium, Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel remain 172 miles behind while Actual Ultim of Anthony Marchand and Thierry Chabagny are more than 200 miles (208.4 precisely) behind the leading men.
The only ones currently in the race, the Ultims will be joined on Monday by the Ocean Fifty and the Class 40s which have finally received the green light from the race management. Both categories had found refuge in the port of Lorient at the start of the week to take shelter due to the arrival of storm Ciaran. As for the IMOCAs, they will set off from Le Havre the next day after an interminable wait of nine days in Normandy.