A final night of concentration before an arrival in Brest tomorrow morning
Today saw the final speed run for the crew on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild before the stalling, the effects of which can already be felt some 50 miles from the Ushant shipping lane. The SE'ly wind is easing as it backs round to the east the closer they get to the tip of Brittany. Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier must remain focused on their course and on this finish in particular, which they know will be tricky in this much-frequented zone. Fishermen, cargo ships there's a lot of traffic in this sector and all the senses are on the alert aboard the latest Gitana. Between 08:00 and 09:00 UTC tomorrow morning, the sailors are expected to cross the finish line of the Brest Atlantiques located between the Saint-Mathieu headland and the Toulinguet signal station.
Contacted this evening, weather router Marcel van Triest gave us the latest update: “This afternoon, Franck and Charles had 15 knots of breeze but that's it, they're now close-hauled in a wind which is dropping away with every passing hour. From the SE, it will switch back to the east, and tomorrow the finish will be coloured by some very light conditions. After a little mist and greyness in the morning, the skies will clear. As such, the emphasis will be on keeping a handle on safety over these final hours, despite the nervous fatigue which has inevitably accumulated.”
Tonight also heralds the final moments at sea for Yann Riou, the media man within Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild's racing stable, who has been sharing this incredible event in camera with the public for the past twenty-nine days through a series of staggering images and notably a wealth of drone footage filmed from every latitude and in all light conditions.
Tomorrow morning, the arrival off Brest should secure the five-arrow trimaran her first victory of this scale, the second in all after the Rolex Fastnet Race back in August. The Brest Atlantiques, which has offered up a 14,000-mile (26,000km) double-handed tour of the Atlantic has been a true sporting challenge for Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, who were named as the skippers of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild just seven months ago. However, it has also been a major challenge for the men of Gitana Team with regards to the high-tech fine-tuning of this exceptional machine. Indeed, it's worth noting that Gitana 17, launched in July 2017, is the first offshore maxi-trimaran designed to fly in the open ocean in competition. The Verdier design is a trail-blazer for this new generation of giants of the seas.
Follow the live action of the finish!
As soon as the five-arrow trimaran gets to within 100 miles of the finish and in order to track the crew's progress towards Brest, her course will be updated every five minutes on the gitana-team.com cartography. The public will also be able to follow the finish, which will be broadcast live on the Facebook page and the official Gitana Team website. Journalists Grégoire Tournon and Didier Ravon will keep us posted on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild's every move and get the first reactions from the sailors after the finish.
The iconic Abeille Bourbon, a flagship of Brest that completes several dozen salvage missions a year offshore of Brittany, will head out to welcome the latest Gitana back into port with one last parade of honour before the latter makes for the Quai Malbert, where she's set to dock in at around lunchtime.
Ranking on 3 December 2019 at 19:00 UTC
1. MAXI EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier / Yann Riou) - distance to the goal: 128.9 miles - average speed over the past 30 mins: 19.9 knots
2. MACIF (François Gabart / Gwenolé Gahinet / Jérémie Eloy) - 1,804.1 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 29.4 knots
3. ACTUAL LEADER (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella / Ronan Gladu) - 1,836.7 miles behind the leader - average speed over the past 30 mins: 27.7 knots
RETIREMENT - SODEBO ULTIM 3 (Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias / Martin Keruzoré)