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On this fourth weekend of the Ultim Challenge, the five skippers racing are all hoping for better things in the near future. Leader Charles Caudrelier is hoping that Cape Horn is passable in the near future. Armel Le Cléac'h and Thoma Coville are both hoping for better conditions between Australia and New Zealand.

Anthony Marchand is hoping he can keep up the pace along the ZEA, and Éric Péron is in fifth, hoping he can finally break free of an anticyclone, which is moving at the same pace as he is. But, as it seems this morning, patience is required by all.

For the first time since the start on January 7 and the start of the Ultim Challenge, leader Charles Caudrelier is continually making less 10 knots. In the throes of his enforced pause, he has made 5.2 knots in the last 24 hours and was doing 9.4 knots at 0700hrs UTC this morning as he let a big depression pass over Cape Horn.

“Charles is still at a reduced speed,” notes Guillaume Rottee, the race director. “According to our weather models, he could cross Cape Horn with more favourable conditions between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. That would see him leave and head east between this afternoon and tomorrow.”

Le Cléac’h – Coville, the “match within the match” is back in business

Behind Caudrelier the battle resumes. Armel Le Cléac’h (Maxi Banque Populaire XI) has worked to pass New Zealand by the North whilst strong depressions are circulating around the island. “From now on, he will go south but it is not as simple as you’d imagine,” explains Guillaume. “To the East of New Zealand he will find himself stuck in an anticyclonic situation which will continue and which will slow him down.”

And so this will reignite the “match within the match” between the duo, Armel Le Cléac’h and Thomas Coville. Coville skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 has left the Derwent after 2 days 2 hours and 39 minutes stopped in Hobart. Time zones mean he left Friday, February 2, 2136hrs UTC, which is Saturday, February 3 morning local time. Even so, Coville still has to deal with very challenging conditions: wind at 30-35 knots, gusts of over 40 knots and seas of 5 to 6 meters.

But if he can get his speeds up safely, Coville can get back to Banque Populaire, which is about 290 miles ahead. “The two boats could even arrive at Cape Horn with only a few hours difference,” explains Guillaume Rottee. The routings show there could be a slight lead for Sodebo Ultim 3 for the moment.”

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The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild team has said this morning that their Ultim Challenge leading skipper Charles Caudrelier has made the decision to put his race on hold for an indefinite period because of the weather conditions which were expected for his passage of Cape Horn. “They are absolutely incompatible with progress, and so we have chosen to be patient”, explains Caudrelier.

Blocking the route are violent winds of 50 to 70 knots with very heavy seas, all created by two depressions. To pass the rugged coast of Tierra del Fuego and the famous Cape Horn would be a perilous mission. So Caudrelier and his routing team made the decision this morning to put the race on ‘pause the race.’ Their team press release this morning said “This is a choice which is essential for the preservation of man and machine”.

Caudrelier was due to pass Cape Horn this Sunday, February 4. However, a southern ocean depression is in the North-East and a second is forming in the North.

“In the coming days, these two systems will meet and merge, it will be explosive,” explains Erwan Israel from the Gitana routing cell. “Gusts over 70 knots are expected. This decision is obvious. It was just not possible to move towards the Horn with such a weather scenario. It was an ambush that would have closed in on us with no possible escape since in the South we are limited by the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.”

“This is the first time in my life that such a situation has happened to me in a race,” admits Charles Caudrelier. “We have chosen to be patient. I want to keep things in perspective. We have a boat and a skipper in great shape. I keep smiling and I remain positive even if I will surely be chomping at the bit to see the miles to the finish keep dropping. A week ahead is perhaps a lot. But Cape Horn with more than a day in advance, is something any round the world racer dreams of and I think I will have more than that.” In the lead of the Ultim Challenge for 17 days, the skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is currently more than 3,400 miles ahead of his leading pursuers.

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Ultim Challenge skipper Thomas Coville is heading to Hobart for a technical stopover, Armel Le Cléac’h is taking a safe, northerly route ahead of a big Southern Ocean storm. Race leader Charles Caudrelier has under 2,500 miles to Cape Horn and will pass Point Nemo in the next 24 hours whilst Anthony Marchand and Éric Péron have light winds in the Indian Ocean.

By the end of this afternoon, Thomas Coville should drop the giant mainsail of his Sodebo Ultim 3 in the Derwent and make his way to Hobart to meet his technical team. A technical stopover of at least 24 hours will start, which should be enough time to deal with his damage, principally his pulpit on the bow and the port trampoline net, as well as his hydraulic foil lowering systems.

Coville spoke of the situation last night: “We are going to stop in Hobart in Tasmania. In terms of safety, going to the foredeck, no longer having the port side net is much too much of a risk. And then there is the work that I have to do to hook the foils and unhook them each time going along the float. These are so very risky when there is a sea. I don't feel capable of covering the entire Pacific like this. So we made the decision with my team to stop and make a technical stopover. It should last at least 24 hours but, unfortunately, two huge depressions are coming and they could keep us stuck at the dock for longer.”

The weather files are evolving and dynamic so maybe Sodebo will find a window to start again quicker than expected. Meantime he told nearest rival Armel Le Cléac’h of his decision: “I needed to warn him of my intention to stop. Because in our sport, a bit like in the mountains, we have this way of thinking, this philosophy, this obligation to provide assistance to someone who might be in danger nearby. So when you're in a race, very often it's your most direct competitor who is your "angel": the person who would be likely to come to your zone.”

Le Cléac'h himself said yesterday he will avoid the storm by passing north of Tasmania into the Pacific Ocean via the Bass Strait which separates Australia and Tasmania. He might also go north of New Zealand 
“Certainly, it will lengthen our journey, but it is the price to pay for not taking any risks, preserving the boat and continuing with peace of mind.” Said Le Cléac'h.

Out in front Charles Caudrelier continues to profit from good conditions allowing straight line sailing directly east. Skirting the ice zone Maxi Edmond de Rothschild races at more than 30 knots across the Pacific. The race leader should cross the longitude of Point Nemo within 24 hours and Cape Horn is approximately 2400 miles away.

Way, way to the west in the Southern Ocean Actual is making its way towards the Kerguelen Islands in a weather situation which sees two anticyclonic centers merging, which might slow down the skipper Anthony Marchand and, to a lesser extent, that of Éric Péron behind him.

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Under Australia, the third placed skipper, Armel Le Cléac'h on Maxi Banque Populaire XI, continues to erode miles from the Ultim Challenge lead of second placed Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3) despite gruelling conditions.

Eight days ago there were nearly 1200 miles between then this morning only 340 miles now separate them, with Le Cléac'h Armel passing Cape Leeuwin in the night. A duel is forming, “match within a match” whilst Ultim Challenge leader Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) remains quick and on a direct course in the Pacific.

On Sunday, Armel Le Cléac’h spoke of his conditions: “I have lots of wind, sea and there is not a moment of respite and I still have a good week left with these conditions,” he reported. And this Tuesday morning he is racing hard at the front of a front which is expanding in his southwest.

“This depression will allow him to stay on the port gybe and maintain an excellent course,” explains Fred Lepeutrec, assistant race director. “Of course, it’s complicated because he has to stay with the front, and not get caught up by the low pressure itself where the seas are bigger and confused.”

“We see that he is extremely motivated”

But for now, the skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire XI is holding on and pressing hard. He passed Cape Leeuwin last night, at 0106hrs, and above all, he closed the gap on Thomas Coville. There are now less than 340 miles between the two skippers.

“Armel is going fast averaging more than 30 knots over the last 24 hours. We can see he is extremely motivated and stimulated by catching up on Sodebo Ultim 3.”

So as not to drop south into the worse sea conditions Le Cléac'h is likely to change his course and move closer to Tasmania, 1,200 miles from its current position.

For Coville, on the other hand, nothing is easy. According to assistant race director Lepeutrec, “It is difficult to imagine that he is not handicapped by a technical problem. We notice that he is going slower, that the difference in speed is significant,” he explains. “ And he has remained very North, much more than Maxi Banque Populaire XI.” For the moment the Sodebo team has not communicated on any possible technical problems.

Caudrelier, straight no chasers in the Pacific yet….

Up In front, Charles Caudrelier continues alone. “He’s on a direct route, it’s been a long time since he changed tack.” Says Lepeutrec. The skipper of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has to face slightly less wind but will keep on his direct course but with more crosswind. “He will change move a little north, which also mirrors the ZEA.”

Anthony Marchand in fourth has an anticyclone to deal with and tries to find a wind corridor between it and the ZEA. And in fifth now, Éric Péron continues to go the East. Two days after leaving Cape Town, the conditions are still light (less than 10 knots), which is reflected in his progress (15.4 knots average speeds over the last four hours).

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Lying in second place on the Ultim Challenge round the world race for foiling giant multihulls, Thomas Coville passed Cape Leeuwin last night. But the redoubtable French skipper didn't really have time to celebrate as he is riding a very active depression to his south which has forced him to take a very northerly course. Armel Le Cléac’h in third has the same situation and should also gybe towards the North-East. Away out in front Charles Caudrelier in first is very much alone but now is passed half way in terms of the projected duration of his race.

Thomas Coville passed the second cape of the course, Cape Leeuwin, on Sunday night at 0037hrs UTC, so after 21 days and 12 hours of racing. But nothing is easy for him. The assistant race director, Fred Lepeutrec suggest: “His speed suggests that he must have small technical problems to manage”. The skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 has sailed very north. Why? “A very active flow, of strong wind and rough seas to the south,” specifies Le Peutrec. “He is not able to dive further south as he needs to avoid getting into the nasty conditions.”

Le Cléac’h catching Coville

Such a situation also concerns Armel Le Cléac’h who now around 700 miles away. The Maxi Banque Populaire XI is between two depressions. One in his west from which he will be able to escape by gybing, the other in his south is identical to Coville’s. The blue and white Ultim will therefore have to stay on this North-Easterly course on port gybe to stay out of the heaviest seas. Nevertheless Le Cléac'h should could continue to gain a few miles on Coville. And very early this morning Le Cléac'h was making almost twice the speed of Coville who was at 16.5 kts.

Caudrelier collects, Marchand also

At the same time, Charles Caudrelier, in the Pacific and passed New Zealand seems so far removed from the problems of his two rivals. He can continue to progress on a direct easterly route. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is at the front of a front with rough but following seas. Consequently he spent the night at 32 knots of speed and can still fully modulate his effort. Charles Caudrelier is also into the second half of his race, buoyed by having more miles behind him than ahead to the finish.

More than 5,500 miles further west, Anthony Marchand continues his progress in the Indian Ocean. He must face an anticyclone in front of him. From Race HQ in Brest Le Peutrec explains: “He has a small system in his South with another front from the North which will allow him to advance on the port gybe on his good float (the one with the remaining foil Editor’s note) so should be able to go well.”

Éric Péron, who left Cape Town yesterday evening has passed the Cape of Good Hope after initially having to be patient as there was very little wind in the South African bay. But now he Is making good speed . He has a fairly strong north-northwest flow to his west which should stay with him today.

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Ultim Challenge solo round-the-world race leader Charles Caudrelier sailed into the Pacific Ocean last night after setting a new solo record time for the passage of the Indian Ocean between Cape Agulhas in South Africa and the longitude of Tasmania.

On the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild Caudrelier passed Cape South East, the Tasmanian longitude at 00:03:10hrs UTC this Sunday morning. With a passage time of 8d 8h 20' and 36', the 49-year-old French skipper broke Thomas Coville’s 2016 record by 3hrs 57 minutes. Caudrelier’s average speed in the Indian Ocean has been a remarkable 30.7kts.

The absolute record for the Indian Ocean is held by Francis Joyon at exactly seven days. Joyon sailed IDEC Sport with a crew of six and, unrestricted by any ice limits such as the AEZ imposed on this course, sailed very much further south and therefore covered a shorter distance. At the time, December 2015, Joyon smashed the newly set record of Spindrift 2 by nearly 33 hours.

And, also subject to approval by the WSSRC, Charles Caudrelier has already set one transoceanic record on this race. On Thursday, January 25, the skipper of the Gitana Team also set a new best solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Leeuwin. He improved on the time established by François Gabart in 2017 by 1d 8h, 25' 55''.

Caudrelier is making a steady 32 knots this morning in the Pacific and sees his lead grow to nearly 1900 miles over second-placed Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3), who is about 300 miles from Cape Leeuwin. Coville remains slowed to around 16kts this morning as Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire XI) continues to close miles on second place.

Yesterday at 1504hrs UTC Anthony Marchand returned through the reference gate to complete his technical stopover and resume racing. His technical team members took full advantage of the 24 hours minimum stopping time and removed Actual Ultim 3’s damaged port foil, but also repaired anything else that needed attention “The objective was to leave while respecting the minimum stopover time imposed by the race regulations, and we achieved,” enthused Marchand from the race course. “The guys worked tirelessly from the moment the boat arrived. Everything happened extremely quickly but everything is now back in working order. The boat is not leaving at 100% of its potential but it is leaving strong, which is essential for me before starting the crossing of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.”

He crossed paths with Adagio which was on its way in to Cape Town. Since Éric Péron said he would make a stopover, his technical team has been hard at work. Coach Elliott Le Dem headed to South Africa on Friday; the same day, the part to be replaced in the rudder system was delivered after machining. Next day boat captain Loïc Le Mignon left Brest for Cape Town, the part in his suitcase. And yesterday, Éric Péron reached Cape Town, which he will have the right to leave from 1757hrs. this Sunday, in accordance with the 24 hour minimum, which he and his team fully expect to have adhered to.

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After 20th night at sea since departing Brest, France, this Friday evening the Ultim Challenge round the world solo race leader Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) has about 600 miles left to sail to the longitude of Tasmania and the entrance to the Pacific.

Second-placed Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3) reported that he had repaired his foil-lowering mechanism and has less than 1200 miles to go to Cape Leeuwin.

In third Armel Le Cléac'h had been catching miles on Coville and is going well just NW of the Kerguelens.

Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim) has started his repairs in Cape Town, where Éric Péron (ADAGIO) is now headed after rudder damage early this morning.

Race leader Charles Caudrelier at the gateway to the Pacific Ocean, Thomas Coville and Armel Le Cléac'h are working hard in the Atlantic in tough conditions. And they are fast, Maxi Banque Populaire XI was flashed at 39 knots this morning and clearly the French Vendée Globe winner Le Cléac'h is pursuing Coville hard. Meantime in Cape Town, Anthony Marchand docked yesterday and his team will do everything to have him leave as quickly as possible. Éric Péron is expected there tonight.

So there are two in Cape Town, maybe soon to be three? Tom Laperche (SVR-Lazartigue) arrived there last Monday, he was joined yesterday by Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim). Victim of a collision on his port foil on Tuesday morning, ‘Antho’ had to be patient before he could get into the port. Laperche had too much wind, Marchand too little!

“I am in a hurry to meet the team to remove the foil, repair the gennaker and repair the problems with the helm and the broken autopilot,” explained Marchand. “It’s going to be good to have a boat that is almost 100% ready to set off on this long journey,” he said yesterday afternoon, “ I am totally fired up again.”

Péron expected this Sunday

Actual’s technical stopover began at 1411hrs UTC and the entire team is working hard to ensure that “Antho” can leave as quickly as possible. “Their objective is to leave as quickly as possible, at the end of the mandatory 24 hours,” explains Guillaume Rottee, Race Director.

Éric Péron should arrive some time tonight in Cape Town. The skipper of ULTIM ADAGIO also “hit something on the surface”, which damaged his starboard rudder. “It’s complicated to get to Cape Town for him because the wind is irregular with the terrain and the wind coming down off the mountains,” explains Rottee. “You can have gusts of 35 knots and more. And so the approach can therefore be long, like Anthony yesterday.”

There are still 160 miles to go for Éric Péron before he gets to Cape Town.

Caudrelier has to work

Leader Charles Caudrelier slowed down his pace slightly. The train of depressions he is working with under Australia is complicated.

“It is in an unstable zone where depressions circulate a little less well with many transition zones,” explained one of the members of its routing unit, Erwan Israel, yesterday. “It’s quite sporty,” adds Race Director Rottee. “Charles is racing in 15 knots of wind with 4 to 6 meters of sea. He is on starboard tack and will have to make a few gybes before entering the Pacific Ocean. Charles is expected to pass Tasmania tonight, which will mark his entry into the Pacific.”

Depending on the criteria used Caudrelier will not just be thinking of getting into the Pacific but of passing the race half way point. On day 20 or 21 being ahead of Gabart’s record, he will soon be thinking he has more days behind him than ahead, and that will feel good.

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Ultim Challenge leader Charles Caudrelier is approaching the longitude of Cape Leeuwin on the leading edge of a new front, sailing along the ZEA, which is not an easy feat. He should pass Australia's Great Cape at the end of the day. The positions behind him are relatively stable for Thomas Coville (2nd) and Armel Le Cléac’h (3rd). Meanwhile, Anthony Marchand (4th), who decided on a stopover yesterday, should arrive in Cape Town tonight. 

In an interview last Tuesday, second-placed Thomas Coville summed up what you need to go well in the Southern Ocean: “You need opportunity, talent, and luck”. The skipper of Sodebo, who is on his ninth round the world passage, said he believed that leader Caudrelier has all three. 

And Caudrelier continues to prove this to be the case. The winner of the last solo Route du Rhum is charging along the course, but it is extremely hard work for the 49-year-old who, before the start, refused to talk about records or the potential duration of his race other than to say he wanted to be home for his 50th birthday in just over a month's time and he had booked mid-term holidays with his kids. At his present pace, he should not only achieve both deadlines but is on target to break Francois Gabart's 42-day round-the-world solo record.

"He must be very tired where he is right now," smiles Guillaume Rottée, Race Director. "His weather situation has taken him to the edge of the ice zone, which forced him to make 12 or 13 gybes in the last 24 hours!" Rottee reports: "Each time, he went very close to the ZEA, as close as just 1.6 miles from this limit!"

Caudrelier is gaining even more miles on the boats behind and that should continue. "Now he can go straight ahead with good speeds," says Rottee. He should reach Cape Leeuwin in the early evening, around 5 to 7 pm UTC. Behind him, the gaps are relatively stable. For a while, Armel Le Cléac'h came back slightly on Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3, 2nd) and on Charles Caudrelier (when the latter was slaloming along ZEA). But since then, the status quo has prevailed.

Coville is still dealing with conditions that are much more unsettled than his rivals and so his progress has been slowed down. "We see that his track does not always correspond to the normal speed of his boat," explains Rottée. "Either he has had a problem, or he focuses on fixing stuff whenever he can." Coville has been back on a "normal" course and at a good target speed since the middle of the night.

Anthony Marchand, on the other hand, is continuing his route towards Cape Town. The skipper of Actual Ultim 3 had to cross an anticyclonic ridge during the night, which slowed him down. He picked up some speed this morning and should reach the South African port sometime tonight. For the first time since the start of the ARKÉA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest, two of the six boats competing will be stopped as SVR-Lazartigue is still moored in Cape Town.

In sixth place, Éric Péron continues to benefit from a wind corridor in the South Atlantic. He still has 800 miles to go to pass the Cape of Good Hope, probably during Saturday night.

Published in Ultim Challenge

Thomas Coville, the solo skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 admitted to having suffered some technical damage last Wednesday in his Ultim Challenge Race bid. Although it is not a structural failure, Coville reports, "I am handicapped on one side, but I have a solution to regain the functions of the foil. I am confident for the future."

In a press release issued on the subject of his breaking into the Indian Ocean, Coville revealed that his starboard foil lowering system had broken. "The damage has not caused any damage to the structure of the trimaran but prevented the foil from being lowered ," the press release said. "I am compromised on port tack".

Thomas Coville reported, "I had come back on the first two to catch the same front, I was happy with the boat's speeds, but it turned out to be more difficult following damage to the mechanical lowering system of the starboard foil. Together with the team, we managed to stabilize it. There is no structural damage or major problems on the boat, but at the moment I am handicapped on one side. With my technical team, we have a solution to regain its functionality. I have a little work to do, but I am confident. I wasn't able to keep up with the pace of the leaders because I found myself at the back of the front when I wasn't far behind, but I'm happy to be where I am. Venturing here with a flying boat like Sodebo Ultim 3 was a dream and here we are - with the other sailors - doing something unique, it's the first time. Doing it today with my team is also a collective adventure. It's a motorsport, it's a commitment sport and it's a group sport and they're all behind me."

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Charles Caudrelier, leader of the Ultim Challenge Race round the world, is passing the NE corner of the Kerguelen Islands exclusion zone, racing on a SE’ly course at around 35kts as he plunges towards the ice exclusion zone. The skipper of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is expected to pass Cape Leeuwin on Wednesday and Tasmania, the gateway to the Pacific, on Thursday or Friday.

Some of the skippers have already seen their first albatross, indeed the extraordinary shots of race leader Charles Caudrelier on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild near the Kerguelens, taken yesterday by a French fishing vessel, show he is in good company in more ways than one. But today, as he descends into the Indian Ocean some 1400 miles to the west of Caudrelier, second placed Thomas Coville was given to reflect on his love of the albatross and their comforting presence.

The image (above) of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the Indian Ocean is exceptional. It was taken by Niels Gins, a scientist and controller of the TAAF (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises) who is a controller aboard a fishing boat from the French seafood company Sapmer. Gins looks after the regulatory measures and collects essential data for the scientific monitoring of deep ocean fishing down in these low latitudes. He is also responsible for capturing images of marine wildlife, observed vessels, including possible illegal fishing vessels “pirate fishing” and he occasionally captures the odd passing, ULTIM doing more than 30kts.

Coville back in his element

"He's up there. He revolves around me, and he is what I’ve been looking for. I see it as a first reunion And probably it is less poetic for him.” Coville is in a contemplative and intimate mood as took the time to record an audio message, to detail his first encounter with an albatross on this new passage into the big south on this, his ninth circuit of the globe. The Cape of Good Hope is well behind him now and his Sodebo Ultim 3 is already carving its way into the Indian Ocean, still pretty much pacing the leader Caudrelier – indeed in the 24hrs to 1700hrs this evening Coville sailed 16 miles further.

Coville : “When you pass the Cape of Good Hope, you enter the world of albatrosses. This is their world, not ours. It’s rather like entering a ring-fenced area. It’s a very special moment. I would like to offer this moment to everyone involved in the project and in particular, the team members that have been supporting me. Just like the albatrosses, they are there without being seen. Somewhere in the background circling me, watching what’s going on, looking for an idea, a kind word, someone to show them some attention. In our work, there is a lot to overcome, but also a lot of being with others and feeling that human warmth. The albatross flies in that spirit. It may sound a bit odd, but that is what is going on for me and it is very emotional.”

Anthony Marchand in the Actual Ultim 3 -  the ice exclusion zone is not that far awayAnthony Marchand in the Actual Ultim 3 -  the ice exclusion zone is not that far away

In fourth and fifth Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire XI) and Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim) are getting closer the south after a long, circuitous detour round the west of the Saint Helena High. Marchand skipper on Actual Ultim 3 told us earlier today, “We are in a small strip of wind with the ice exclusion zone not that far away and with Armel just ahead. We are finally heading East with the Cape of Good Hope coming up ahead soon, and it will be nice to get that left it behind us. It’s starting to get colder and colder. The nights are very short, which is great.”

In sixth Eric Péron told us about his situation on Sunday evening. “It’s been a busy week with lots of things to do aboard the boat. Lots of odds and ends, plenty of work to do, and that all takes time. My route crossing the South Atlantic means that we can be faster on our trajectory towards the Cape of Good Hope, but there isn’t much wind. The boat is doing well and I have managed to get some rest. It’s good that there are times when we can ease off. This is a long race and we need to keep at it.”

Tom Laperche hove to in strong winds onboard SVR-Lazartigue off Cape Town Tom Laperche hove to in strong winds onboard SVR-Lazartigue off Cape Town 

Arriving off Cape Town very early this morning, Tom Laperche was met by a wall of winds gusting to 50 to 60 knots along the coast. It was impossible to consider any kind of access the port. So SVR – Lazartigue had to stay on standby, hove too into the wind, waiting for better conditions. The wind eventually died down, and four members of the team boarded the giant ULTIM later in the morning. Securing the boat and analyzing the damage are their two missions at the moment. Laperche was sent ashore so that he could rest and recover with some good sleep. With the wind still blowing heavily, the technical team has not yet been able to dock the giant multi in the port of Cape Town.

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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.