The recent story of the Fastnet moving its finish from Plymouth to Cherbourg (You can read the full story from Tip & Shaft here) followed the exodus across the Channel of The Transat which changed its start from Plymouth to Brest both prove that in Ocean and Offshore Racing nothing is guaranteed. As they search for tourism and investment profile and direct economic benefits, towns and cities are deploying different strategies, some of them very proactively such as Les Sables d’Olonne which has just added the Mini Transat to a growing roster of Vendée events. Here is a look at the state of play in France and in Portsmouth, the only English waterfront city which is pressing ahead with investment in sailing events, most notably June’s Emirates America’s Cup World Series event which will see the AC75s racing in England for the first time.
After the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finished into Brest on Wednesday morning to win the inaugural Brest Atlantiques race, Macif and Actual Leader arrived Saturday, ending this first ever stand alone Ultim race. Tip & Shaft makes a first analysis along with the input of skipper, organisers, teams and journalists.
After a difficult end to 2018 with the loss of Banque Populaire IX in the Route du Rhum, the 2019 season has been busy for Armel Le Cléac’h, with events in the Figaro and Imoca circuits, ending up with tenth place in the Solitaire and sixth in the Transat Jacques Vabre with Clarisse Crémer. Not forgetting the work being done with the Banque Populaire Team on the future Ultim (due to be launched in the first quarter of 2021, as they observe what is happening in the Brest Atlantiques. The skipper from St. Pol de Léon talks to Tip & Shaft about everything that is going on.
In late April Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper Charles Caudrelier was announced as co-skipper, along with Franck Cammas on the Gitana Team Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. After six months of intensive training and a short refit to the Verdier design, Caudrelier and Cammas took the start last Tuesday of the Brest Atlantiques race, being the leaders after 3 days. The 30 day 14,000 nautical miles triangle course into the south Atlantic, to marks off Rio and Cape Town, is a test of reliability and endurance as well as speed for the four Ultimes entered, Gitana, Sodebo Ultim 3, MACIF and Actual Leader. Tip & Shaft spoke to Caudrelier in Brest……
With two Ultimes currently in build (Macif and Banque Populaire) and four new Imoca (Charal, Arkéa Paprec and Apivia, already recently launched as well as the new Corum to come), the CDK Technologies yard is on the crest of a wave during this pre-Vendée Globe year. We pressed for the chance to speak with CDK’s managing director, a very discrete Philippe Facque.
On Thursday the Gitana Team put an end to dockside speculation and announced that it is not one but two skippers who now succeed Sébastien Josse. They are both Volvo Ocean Race winners, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier. They will share the skipper role on the Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. General manager, Cyril Dardashti talks to Tip & Shaft about their choices.
In the wake of victory in the Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng Race Team, Pascal Bidégorry spent the latter part of last year helping young French skipper Arthur Le Vaillant prepare his Class40 for the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. He is continuing that collaboration with Le Vaillant right now as they train on the Figaro 3 Leyton. And the duo will sail the Sardinha Cup at the end of March But at the same time the Basque bred sailor Bidégorry is looking for sponsoring partners to back him on an Ultim. But he is also cited as one of the potential successors for Sébastien Josse in the Gitana Team hot seat. He covers all these topics for Tip & Shaft.
Initialement attendu fin janvier (voir notre article), le calendrier de la classe Ultim 32/23 pour la période 2019-2023 devrait être finalement être connu mi-mars, ses membres ayant dû se remettre autour de la table après le refus de la Transat Jacques-Vabre de leur ouvrir l’avis de course. Tip & Shaft vous en dit plus.
From the fateful day, November 6th, when their Ultime Banque Populaire IX capsized on the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe it took just over one month, until December 12th before the green light was given for an ambitious new three cornered project. Such is the success story which links sailing and Banque Populaire and which now sees the seemingly unwavering relationship extend past the 30 year anniversary now into 2024.