Départ officiel de l'ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest, le 07/01/24

The Ultim class of 105 foot trimarans are the true monsters of the deep ocean, reports Kevin Green.

To prove it, this elite group of yachts are currently racing together in a circumnavigation expected to take less than 50 days, after departing Brest in France on 6 January. Sailing at speeds of nearly 50 knots across the wildest parts of the world’s oceans, while managing thousands of square foot of sail area and doing this all on foils is what these hardy French solo sailors are doing. So far, one of them has retired (the newest one, SVZ Lazartigue), pulling-out at Cape Town while the other five continue on. Another, Sodebo 3 skippered by 55 year old veteran Thomas Coville, did an emergency stop in Hobart, Tasmania on 1 February for foil and deck repairs. Hobart hospitality included using the town hall – the only area large enough – to roll out the vast sails of Sodebo 3.

A week later another, Actual Ultim 3, surprised the populace of Dunedin on South Island New Zealand with a flying visit for repairs. Aboard, fourth placed skipper Anthony Marchand completed his second technical stopover after making repairs to the system which hoists and lowers his remaining foil. He had removed the port foil in Cape Town after it was damaged. Meantime, the runaway leader, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild skipper Charles Caudrelier on his 2017 Ultim has passed Cape Horn, along with two others, on the final leg back to the finish at Brest, north-west France.


  • Maxi Edmond de Rothschild – Charles Caudrelier
  • Maxi Banque Populaire XI – Armel Le Cléac’h
  • SVR Lazartigue – Tom Laperche (RETIRED)
  • Sodebo Ultim 3 – Thomas Coville
  • Actual Ultim 3 – Anthony Marchand
  • Ultim Adagio – Eric Peron

Follow them on the tracker at: www.arkeaultimchallengebrest.com

Frederic Morin Team Sodebo arriving in Hobart