The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild makes for Brest
The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild makes for Brest
Friday the 13th, a lucky day? The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild left her base in Lorient to head for Brest shortly after 12 noon local time today. Objective number one for Charles Caudrelier, Franck Cammas and their four crew is to get as close as possible to Ushant and the start line for the Jules Verne Trophy, which Gitana Team once again has her sights on. Indeed, a weather window seems to be opening over the next few days but, given the sea conditions expected at the north-west tip of Brittany over the weekend, the team who were victorious in the recent Route du Rhum is playing it safe and will tie up alongside in the Marina du Château for a few hours or days... The jury is still out with regard to the exact timing of their departure, but the next weather files will enable them to refine both their strategy and the all-important launch slot.
A departure tomorrow or next week?
Since the start of the week, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's crew and weather cell have been looking out for a favourable situation with which to set sail on the Jules Verne Trophy from this weekend. Though the latest observations from this morning remain optimistic about very fine weather to the equator, they are now proving to be more pessimistic about the South Atlantic and the passage time at the Cape of Good Hope.
This 'uncertain' configuration has prompted the men of Gitana Team to go and position themselves in Brest so they can respond quickly to any eventuality and are closer to the virtual start line off Ushant.
The updated grib files for this evening and tomorrow morning will determine whether the Caudrelier - Cammas duo and their crew set sail on their round the world record bid tomorrow or if they'll have to sit it out for a few more days in the hope of a better weather window. Indeed, other opportunities seem to be on the cards for the middle of next week.
"This is what makes these pre-start phases so difficult! The desire to set sail inevitably weighs heavy, but we're at the start of our standby period and we mustn't rush things. The record will be tough to get our hands on and we need to leave with an ambitious weather window to give ourselves the best possible chance of success," explains Charles Caudrelier.
"The time criteria we're after are dictated by the performances we know the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is capable of, together with our analysis of the different record sequences posted by Idec in 2017. The passage to the equator and the time at Cape Agulhas make up our initial criteria. Outside a time of 5 days to the equator and 12 days to the tip of South Africa, it's no longer a very favorable window. The launch slot is one of the only things we can really control on this record attempt, so we're putting every effort into making it a good one as Idec has set the bar very high."
Third time lucky
Following two interrupted attempts due to technical issues, the men of Gitana Team are extremely keen to take on this third adventure, especially in light of the fact that it could be the last for quite some time given the packed schedule announced for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild over the coming years, which notably includes a singlehanded round the world race in 2024.
In 2021, during their second shot at the Jules Verne Trophy, Charles Caudrelier, Franck Cammas and their crew really made an impression, really showing off the potential of their steed by setting an all-time record for the fastest passage from Ushant to the tip of South Africa, namely 11 days, 14 hours and 3 minutes to Cape Agulhas. However, the breakage of the float rudder at the gateway to the Southern Ocean abruptly put an end to this record attempt.
This next attempt will be the third then for the men of Gitana Team, who have one goal for this planetary challenge: to beat the record set by Idec in 2017 in a time of 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes. However, aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, the six sailors also cherish a dream, that of circumnavigating the globe via the three capes inside the legendary 40-day mark.
An unaltered crew to target this planetary record
There will be a six-strong crew setting sail aboard the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the quest for the Jules Verne Trophy. Charles Caudrelier, the recent winner of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe in Ultim will once again partner with Franck Cammas at the helm of the 32-metre giant. This duo will be able to rely on the experience and skills of the four sailors who have been supporting them in crewed races since 2019: Morgan Lagravière, Yann Riou, David Boileau and Erwan Israël. On shore, Marcel van Triest is also returning to his familiar spot in the routing cell. The so-called 7th man is a great round the world specialist and notably holds two Jules Verne Trophies, including one for the current record of 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes.