Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3) Finishes Fourth in Ultim Challenge

11th March 2024
Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3) Finishes Fourth in Ultim Challenge
Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3) finishes fourth in Ultim Challenge Credit: Alexis Courcoux

French solo skipper Anthony Marchand took fourth place on Ultim Challenge this afternoon when he sailed the ULTIM Actual Ultim 3 across the finish line off Brest at 14:08:21hrs UTC.

Marchand, who turned 39 years old during this first ever solo multihull race round the world, had to stop twice to make technical repairs, once in Cape Town after losing his port foil and in Dunedin, NZ because of problems with his starboard foil mechanism. Racing the ULTIM which as Francois Gabart’s Macif holds the world record for the fastest solo passage round the world, Marchand was deprived of the use of the foils and had adapt to achieve the best performance possible.

In the space of less than two years, ‘Antho’ has transitioned impressively from being a top competitor in the solo Figaro one design offshore class to first racing half way around the world on the IMOCA Biotherm on The Ocean Race and now completing this solo ULTIM race in an elapsed time of 64 days 1 hour 38 minutes 21 seconds. He finishes 13d 6h 20m after race winner Charles Caudrelier.

When he crossed the finish line this afternoon, to be welcomed by the members of his Actual team, his loved ones and those who support him, Anthony Marchand will no doubt flash back to the standout memory of the moment when team owner and past skipper Yves Le Blevec offered him the helm of the famous giant ULTIM. It was after they had delivered the Actual Ultim 3 back from Guadeloupe and the last Route du Rhum race which Le Blevec had just completed solo. Amazingly that was just over two years ago.

“Yves (Le Blevec) was prepared to entrust me with his boat,” he remembers. “It was at that moment that I told myself that I was capable of sailing it around the world. And the day I signed on with Actual, it was a carefully considered ‘yes’, not a knee jerk response. From then on, racing round the world was my single, clear healthy obsession, there was a year of training, there were three stages of The Ocean Race and still the big jump.”

Published in Ultim Challenge Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

About the Ultim Challenge

The ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest, which starts from Brest, France on Sunday, 7 January, will be the first-ever solo race around the world on giant Ultim trimarans, the biggest and fastest ocean-going sailboats in the world.

The inaugural six competitors of the Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest are:

  • Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild)
  • Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3)
  • Tom Laperche (SVR - Lazartigue)
  • Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire XI)
  • Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3)
  • Éric Péron (ADAGIO) - subject to qualification.