• Email Newsletters
  • America’s Cup
  • St. Petersburg
  • Caribbean Championship
  • Boating Safety

Sailing World logo

The Supreme Soloists of the Ultimes

  • By James Boyd
  • January 9, 2024

Tom Laperche

On January 7, ocean racing will take another evolutionary step with the mind-boggling feat of six brave Frenchmen who will set off from Brest in northwest France on board their giant 105-by-75-foot foiling trimarans—around the world, nonstop. Singlehanded. The new event is the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest, a sprint marathon that is expected to take 45 days or less at an ­average of 20 knots.

The present record for a solo lap of the planet stands at 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes, 35 seconds, but when this was set in 2018, skipper François Gabart had the luxury of departing with an optimal 10-day forecast (covering the first quarter of his voyage all the way down to the Southern Ocean). Competitors in the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest will have to leave on the designated start date and make the best of whatever Mother Nature offers them. However, while Gabart’s MACIF trimaran is going again (in new livery as Anthony Marchand’s Actual Ultim 3 ), it is now one of the older of the six trimarans that will set out. The newest Ultims, which harness the latest offshore foiling technology, are much, much faster.

Two of the biggest names in solo round-the-world ­record-breaking will be missing from the lineup; Gabart has passed over the helm of his Ultim to “the next generation” in Tom Laperche. Francis Joyon, who demolished the record for the solo lap on two occasions, bringing it down from 125 days to 72 days in 2005 and from 71 days to 57 days four years later, is now 67. While all six starting skippers are highly experienced, they range in age from 55-year-old Thomas Coville, skipper of Sodebo Ultim 3 , to 26-year-old Laperche.

Coville is the race titan. When it comes to racing large trimarans around the world singlehanded, his experience is unprecedented. He’s been attempting circumnavigation records on large trimarans since 1997 and as a skipper since 2008. On his fifth attempt in 2016, he finally set a new record only for it to be broken a year later by Gabart. He also has raced in the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race (winning it with Franck Cammas on Groupama in 2011-12) and was twice part of crews claiming the Jules Verne Trophy (fully crewed, nonstop around-the-world record). He has completed circumnavigations eight times—four times solo and six times on trimarans.

Maxi Banque Populaire XI

The most hotly tipped skippers, however, are Armel le Cléac’h, 46, on Maxi Banque Populaire XI, and Charles Caudrelier, 49, on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild . While Caudrelier is best known for being a two-time Volvo Ocean Race winner (with Groupama , then as skipper of Dongfeng Race Team in 2017-18), both cut their teeth solo racing in the French one-design Figaro circuit. But when it comes to solo offshore credentials, Le Cléac’h knocks it out of the park. He’s won La Solitaire three times, most recently in 2020, and crucially for the upcoming Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest has also raced in three Vendée Globe races, finishing on the podium in all and winning in 2016-17.

Le Cléac’h’s trimaran was launched in 2021 as a replacement for his ­previous Banque Populaire-backed Ultim, which broke up terminally in the 2018 Route du Rhum. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is unique in the race for being designed by Guillaume Verdier, while the rest are from VPLP (although in every case, the team itself offers substantial input). While Caudrelier has won most Ultim silverware in recent seasons, including the singlehanded Route du Rhum trans-Atlantic race in 2022, Le Cléac’h ended his run by winning this fall’s Transat Jacques Vabre race between Le Havre in northern France and the French Caribbean island of Martinique.

Tom Laperche has taken over as skipper of Francois Gabart’s SVR-Lazartigue for solo races. This is Gabart’s second Ultim trimaran and is considered the most advanced of the six. Laperche won La Solitaire du Figaro in 2022 and has raced with Gabart on the Ultim ever since the boat was launched. He gained his round-the-world experience on the IMOCA Holcim in The Ocean Race.

Thomas Coville

Also inheriting his Ultim campaign is Anthony Marchand, who took over the helm of Actual Ultim 3 from Yves le Blevec in January. Launched in 2015, Actual Ultim 3 is Gabart’s former MACIF ­trimaran, which is the present holder of the solo round-the-world record. Marchand, 38, sets off with vast experience on ORMA 60 trimarans, in the Figaro class, the Volvo Ocean Race (competing in 2015-16 on MAPFRE ) and in the IMOCA.

Fundamentally, the rule limits length to 32 meters and width to 23 meters, and the complex foil configuration on all six Ultims is fairly similar. 

Éric Péron, 42, is the race’s last-minute entry, and as a newcomer to the Ultim class, he will likely back marker. Péron has a strong background in the Figaro and Ocean 50 trimaran classes, and his trimaran Adagio was previously Sodebo Ultim , on which Coville set both his solo round-the-world and west-to-east trans-Atlantic records.

While there is an Ultim 32/23 rule, the design parameters of these incredible machines is a work in progress. Fundamentally, the rule limits length to 32 meters and width to 23 meters. The complex foil configuration on all six Ultims is fairly similar. Each of the boats has six appendages, including the giant, retracting rake-adjustable J-foils (of varying shapes) in the floats. The latest-generation foils have grown larger, enabling the trimarans to fly both downwind and upwind in less wind. Among the three front-runners, the most recent edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre demonstrated that SVR-Lazartigue has the lowest take-off speed, while Maxi Banque Populaire XI ’s foils work best in waves. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild lies somewhere between these two positions.

Charles Caudrelier

Unique to the Ultims is the T-foil pioneered by Caudrelier’s team on their MOD70 (now Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati ). Located in the center hull, this is effectively a daggerboard with a trim tab (to aid pointing ability upwind) and an elevator. This foil is used in a similar fashion to how AC50 catamaran crews negatively raked their windward rudder elevator to produce downforce, sucking the weather hull down. When a gust hits an Ultim, the crew can drop the traveler, but a more energy efficient response is to increase pitch on the T-foil’s elevator to create additional downforce. Then there are three rudders (one on each hull), each with an elevator. The rudders in the floats can be raised (typically the windward one) to reduce drag.

Aside from the significant developments to the foils, especially to reduce cavitation at high speed, teams have been focusing on improving aerodynamic efficiency. The Ultims now have low-drag vinyl fairings for the aft side of their crossbeams, and on some boats, the deck itself forms an endplate for the foot of sails. Living quarters have improved dramatically and, like modern IMOCAs, are becoming increasingly enclosed. The most extreme among them is Sodebo Ultim 3 , where the front of Coville’s “bridge” is forward of the mast step.

Autopilots have transcended beyond being able to steer to course, apparent wind angle or even true wind angle. Depending on the point of sail, the pilot will now automatically head up or bear away when a gust hits. 

The rigs are the same as those that have been fitted to French multihulls for the past 30 years—a rotating wing mast with each shroud terminating in a giant hydraulic ram, permitting the rig (and its center of effort) to be canted to weather. This reduces the downward force on the leeward bow, which can cause multihulls to pitchpole. Whether this is still required is a moot point because today’s foils effectively keep the leeward bow from immersing.

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

Due to the sheer physics of an Ultim, aided by the canting rig and the mast being stepped so far aft, the risk of capsize is almost ­nonexistent, Caudrelier says: “The Ultims are the safest multihulls because they fly, because they are big, but also because we have made huge improvements to the pilots with safety functions, and also we have a nice automatic ­system to ease the sails. It is quite safe. I don’t worry too much about capsizing, but I have in the back of my mind that it can happen.”

Thanks to teams working with such companies as B&G and Pixel sur Mer, Ultim autopilots have transcended beyond being able to steer to course, apparent wind angle or even true wind angle. Depending on the point of sail, the pilot (using what’s referred to as its “safety overlay”) will now automatically head up or bear away when a gust hits, which it can detect by the wind instruments or an inclinometer. In extreme circumstances, they have systems to dump the sheets, although these too seem to be near-redundant. 

An interesting point of dispute between the Ultim teams is how much automation should be permitted. Caudrelier’s team is pro automation, while other teams are less so. As a result, the autopilot can perform these functions but cannot, for example, adjust the boat’s flying mechanism, to automatically set ride height, pitch, etc.

ultim trimaran wikipedia

If capsize is less of a concern, then the skipper’s biggest worries are technical failures on their giant boats, as well as collisions. They have tried to overcome the former through sheer time at sea, testing and failing to improve reliability. Le Cléac’h, for example, says that in the past year, he has sailed Maxi Banque Populaire XI some 20,000 miles, or half a circumnavigation. This has been solo and crewed, in a mix of races, private sea trials and the Ultim fleet training en masse. To avoid collisions, the Ultims have all available kit from radar to AIS alarms to the latest tech such as SEA.AI, which uses a masthead-mounted camera array to see objects—floating or semisubmerged—in the water ahead of the boat. These are compared in real time with the SEA.AI’s huge and ever-growing database of objects to identify them as threats.

In the recent Transat Jacques Vabre, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild suffered rudder issues soon after the start (later found to be a delaminating starboard rudder) and then damage to its port J-foil, but it still finished the race. It seems, therefore, very likely that this level of attrition can be expected in the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest. Caudrelier says that this proved to be a wake-up call for his team as well as valuable practice for how to deal with midrace technical issues. For example, the J-foil damage occurred after a small impact. “But while we were sailing, the damage increased,” he says. Perhaps it would have been faster in the long term to stop, fix the issue, and then continue, he muses. For bigger issues, race’s sailing instructions permit skippers to pitstop where their teams can join them to effect repairs, but in this case, they are obliged to spend a minimum of 24 hours in port as a penalty.

To help reduce risks, OC Sport Pen Duick, the race’s organizers, are ­imposing a movable virtual ice barrier as we have seen in other round-the-world races. Competitors must stay north of this, regardless of whether it drives them into high pressure or storms. Interestingly, they are also imposing exclusion zones around known breeding grounds for whales (yet to be defined at the time of writing).

The Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest may be a solo race, but each campaign is genuinely a team affair. Ultim teams today are giant, some the scale of America’s Cup teams two or three decades ago, with their own in-house designers, engineers, hydro and aerodynamic specialists, and electronic and hydraulic experts. In the event of a technical issue during the race, skippers can now get immediate support using reliable satellite communications. The most consistent remote support each skipper gets is with their routing. In the Ultim class, shore-based routing is permitted. Le Cleac’h, for example, is using Dutch legend Marcel van Triest and French skipper/navigator Nicolas Lunven to provide round-the-clock routing assistance.

Ultims are fast—50 knots is very possible—but skippers are less interested in top speed and entirely focused on maintaining high averages of 30 to 35 knots. They don’t need much wind to achieve such a pace, however. An Ultim’s optimal conditions are broad-reaching in 20 to 25 knots. Any more wind than that, and the sea state gets too large to foil safely. Even in optimal wind conditions, skippers must back off if sea state and wave direction is not ideal. Understanding this is vital to the routing process.

Anthony Marchand

The Ultims are potentially so fast that their routing team can go a long way in ensuring that they stay in optimal conditions. For example, in the Southern Ocean, if they can get into the optimal reaching conditions in flat water ahead of a front, they can potentially ride this for days. But the biggest limitation is the solo skipper. The Ultims typically carry a mainsail and four headsails, including two gennakers and a permanently hoisted J2, all set on furlers. Tacking and jibing requires the sails to be released and sheeted in, the mast to be canted and tacked, and foils and rudders to be raised and lowered. It’s a process that typically takes 20 to 30 minutes. Le Cleac’h says that the most time-consuming sail change is going from the J0 to the J1 because the sails are heavy (around 120 kg), and this can take up to an hour. Factoring all this into the routing is vital because the skipper on his own can do only so much.

“If reaching 95 percent of the boat’s potential requires making three jibes and four tacks and to change two sails, it will be difficult to do that if you are tired,” Le Cleac’h says. His routers offer him three options—from the one offering optimal performance to the easiest for him to achieve—which can be decided based on his energy level and capabilities.

One positive for the skippers is that the required endurance is comparably short compared with a Vendée Globe effort, but still, so much remains unknown as they embark on this extreme test of man and machine. 

“It is a bit like the first Vendée Globe,” Caudrelier says. “It is not quite the same because we know where we are going, but it is the first one, so it is a bit of an adventure. Usually you push to the maximum constantly, but for me, this is the first time I can’t do that. We will have to find the good balance between good performance and safety of the boat. That is an interesting exercise.”

  • More: Arkea Ultim Challenge Brest , Print January 2024 , Racing , Sailboat Racing
  • More Racing

Reed with family on their boat, Another Opinion

Won One, Lost One

2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships

The Rise of Charlotte Rose

MOD70 speed run

Team Argo’s Yokohama Record

2024 Tasar World Championships

McKee’s Six Golden Rules

Brian Kaczor's Team Erica

Kaczor’s Tartan 10 Erica Wins Regatta Series Chicago

Beneteau 36.7 on Lake Michigan

Distance Racers Play Wind Roulette at Regatta Series Chicago

J/88 in Chicago

Thrilling Big-Breeze Start to Regatta Series in Chicago

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Emirates Great Britain Wins Chaotic SailGP In Halifax

Sailing World logo

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding


François Gabart and his crew aim for the Jules Verne Trophy record in 2024

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Tom Laperche: 1st skipper forced to retire from the Arkea Ultim Challenge

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Arkéa Ultim Challenge: what authorizations and prohibitions apply during a technical stopover?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

The Ultims arrive in the Doldrums, what's that?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ocean racing diary: Arkéa Ultim Challenge, Rorc , Sidney Hobart, GSC, SailGP

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Which giant trimarans will be lining up at the start of the Arkea Ultim Challenge?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ocean racing logbook: Ocean Globe Race, Gitana Team, Retour à la Base...

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Anthony Marchand: "We're adjusting the cursor between upgrading and making our Ultim more reliable"

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Gitana 18, a new Ultim designed for long crossings and speed, announced for 2025

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Transat Jacques Vabre: Weather disrupts schedule with scattered start

ultim trimaran wikipedia

History of the Transat Jacques Vabre from 2017 to 2021: records of all kinds!

ultim trimaran wikipedia

What happened to the yachts that won the Transat Jacques Vabre?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ocean racing logbook: Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Transat Jacques Vabre, 24H Ultim...

ultim trimaran wikipedia

24H Ultim: small gaps between the Ultim trimarans on the eve of the Transat Jacques Vabre

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ocean racing logbook: Voiles de Saint-Tropez, 24H Ultim, IMOCA, Mini Transat

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Rolex Fastnet Race, relive the 2023 edition marked by exceptional participation

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ocean racing diary: Rolex Fastnet, IMOCA, Solo Guy Cotten and record attempts

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Arkea Ultim Challenge, the line-up for the first round-the-world Ultims race unveiled

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Journal of ocean racing: Jules Verne, Ocean Race, Golden Globe Race, Windsurfing and Solitaire

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Journal of ocean racing: 470, IRC, ProSailing Tour, The Ocean Race, Tour Voile and Ultim

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Trimaran SVR - Lazartigue: The 1st images of the modified trimaran

ultim trimaran wikipedia

SVR-Lazartigue and Ultim Class 32/23 conflict, the way out finally found

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Arkea Ultim Challenge, the round-the-world Ultim race unveiled

ultim trimaran wikipedia

A new skipper and a new manager for Actual Ultim 3

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Arkea Ultim Challenge, the Ultim Round the World Tour, is taking place!

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ultim class, what are the teams' programs for the winter of 2022?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Route du Rhum 2022: between dismastings and capsizings, finding your way around the start of the race

Shades of floats that illustrate the history of ocean racing

When the floats of multihulls tell their story

The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

Ultim class, towards a new race time on the Route du Rhum?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Caudrelier: "What scares me is the collision with another boat"

The skippers of the Route du Rhum 2022

Route du Rhum 2022, an update on the entries in each class

ultim trimaran wikipedia

The profession of median explained by Ronan Gladu

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

Ultim, the last race before the Route du Rhum 2022 reopens the game?

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Detailed visit of the trimaran SVR Lazartigue, before the 1st record of the Ultim

Will François Gabart's trimaran from Concarneau be at the start of the Finistère Atlantique?

Finistere Atlantique: "A taste of the Route du Rhum for the Ultim trimarans

The SVR-Lazartigue trimaran

New stage in the incomprehensible war between the Ultims

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Route du Rhum 2022 : The last sailors registered for the Transat unveiled

ultim trimaran wikipedia

SVR-Lazartigue trimaran non-conformity, different points of view in Ultim class

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Multihull winners of the Jacques Vabre: Favorites and outsiders on the podium

ultim trimaran wikipedia

A slow-moving fleet in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre

Petole on the Jacques Vabre

An air of Doldrums with a Breton twist hangs over the Jacques Vabre 2021

Your Teams. All Sources.

© 2024 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Ultim Trimarans: Historic Solo Round-the-World Race Set to Begin

The ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest, the first-ever solo race round the world on giant Ultim trimarans, sets sail from Brest, France on January 7. Six solo skippers will push the boundaries of singlehanded racing with boats that are a maximum length of 32 meters and a maximum width of 23 meters.

This race marks a significant milestone in ocean racing, showcasing the potential of solo skippers and the cutting-edge technology of giant Ultim trimarans.

  • Start Date: January 7, 2024
  • Finish Deadline: 100 days after the start, on April 16, 2024
  • Six solo skippers set to embark on the unique and challenging expedition
  • Open communication with teams on shore allowed for weather information and technical help
  • Unique regulations for technical stops, high concentration wildlife zones protection, and ice exclusion zones

The ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest represents a groundbreaking event in solo ocean racing, testing the limits of skippers and their cutting-edge boats in a historic race around the world.

Read more at Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The summary of the linked article was generated with the assistance of artificial intelligence technology from OpenAI

Scuttlebutt Sailing News • Editor

Countdown to the Ultimate race

Top leagues, does your team or athlete deserve recognition tell us submit your story, photo or video..


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

OK Privacy policy

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Yachting World

  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

North Atlantic in six days solo: Arkea Ultim Challenge leaders cross the Equator  

Helen Fretter

  • Helen Fretter
  • January 13, 2024

Just over six days since starting from Brest, the leading solo skippers in the Arkea Ultim Challenge have crossed the Equator

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Less than a week after setting out from the start in Brest, the leading Ultim trimarans in the Arkea Ultim Challenge have crossed the Equator.

First to enter the Southern Hemisphere was Tom Laperche on SVR Lazartigue , who crossed at around 1843 (CET) this evening, with Charles Caudrelier on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild around 1.5 hours behind.

The blistering pace set by the 100ft foiling trimarans has seen the leading Ultims cover the North Atlantic, from northern France to the Equator, in six and a half days.

For context, on his 2017 record breaking solo circumnavigation Francois Gabart ’s took 5d and 20h to get to the Equator, while the fastest solo time was during Thomas Coville’s previous record, in 5d 17h 11m. The fastest ever is is that of the crewed Spindrift 2 team, who sailed from Brest to Latitude 0 in just 4d 20h at the start of a Jules Verne Trophy attempt.

However, all of those record attempts were carefully timed to depart at the absolute optimum moment for a fast Atlantic passage, while the Arkea Ultim Challenge fleet set out on a predetermined race start day.

ultim trimaran wikipedia

The start of the Arkea Ultim Challenge in Brest, January 2024. Photos: Alexis Courcoux

High speed solo trimarans

The Arkea Ultim Challenge, which is the first race of its kind as solo around the world non-stop in giant multihulls, set off from Brest on the West of France, on Sunday lunchtime, 7 January 2024.  

The six trimaran fleet had passed Cape Finisterre before breakfast on Monday and hurtled past the latitude of the Azores in the small hours of Tuesday. Despite being briefly slowed in the first 48 hours by a ridge of high pressure, the Race HQ frequently noted speeds of more than 45 knots at times by the fastest trio while by Wednesday, as they approached the Canary Islands, the leading boats were posting averages of 38 knots.

Vendée Globe winner Armel Le Cléac’h ( Maxi Banque Populaire XI ) commented after two days of racing: “At this pace we can be at the Cape of Good Hope in 12 days and at Cape Horn in 30 days. In the IMOCA it took more than double the time. It totally changes your vision of a race round the world.”

Anthony Marchand ( Actual Ultim 3 ) agreed: “What’s crazy is this feeling of traveling very quickly, of being at the Canaries in 3 days and the Cape Verde 23 hours later.

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Eric Peron on Adagio at the start of the Arkea Ultim Challenge in Brest, January 2024. Photos: Alexis Courcoux

46 knots is too fast!

The teams swiftly faced their first low pressure system, which required a mindset shift for the skippers from the first few days of closely matched sprinting.

Anthony Marchand ( Actual ) explained on Wednesday 10 January: “Going into 6 metre waves, after three days at sea, I feel good, I am starting to switch to ‘offshore’ mode, less in tactical regatta mode.  

“You can quickly get caught up in the game of in contact racing, which can be a bad idea.”

Charles Cauderlier on Maxi Edmond de Rothschild agreed: “For sure there is a definite, noticeable intensity between us, that’s for sure, even a little too much sometimes.  

“I calmed things down in the breeze for the boat, especially after I was hitting 45, 46 knots. That really felt a bit quick for what is, after all, the start of a round the world race!

“We started out fast but I think in time everyone will find their rhythm and it will all settle down little by little, especially as things get serious with the first depression.”

All six trimarans negotiated the first major front without incident, though experienced winds of up to 40 knots, as predicted by the shoreside routing teams each skipper works closely with 24-7.

Armel Le Cléac’h explained: “The wind strengthened from ahead as expected, pretty much as I was anticipating it to do, I had reduced sail area a lot, well in advance to tackle this slightly delicate passage. Then there was a big shift in the wind with gusts of over 50 knots. At night, in torrential rain, let’s just say it wasn’t very comfortable.”

Since flying past the depression, the Arkea Ultim Challenge fleet were in search of tradewind conditions, with the fleet splitting into pairings. At the front, SVR Lazartigue and Maxi Edmond de Rothschild , with Thomas Coville on Sodebo and Armel le Cléac’h on Maxi Banque Populaire XI closely matched around behind, then Anthony Marchand on Actual Ultim 3 in 5th and Eric Peron, a late entry on Adagio , in 6th.

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Thomas Coville on Sodebo racing in the Arkea Ultim Challenge, 2024. Photos: Alexis Courcoux

Long way round

Le Cleac’h revealed that he had suffered a problem with his largest headsail, the J0, which contributed to him losing touch with the leading pair.

“Two or three days ago I was still in contact with the leaders then I had a problem with a sail and it took me quite a while. I had to fix stuff and  unfortunately that left me behind. Now, though, I have found conditions that allowed me to sail quickly.

“But this course is long, I know a lot more things will happen. We must maintain our pace, our strategy with conditions which should allow us to quickly descend into the 40s.

“The idea is to get to the gates of the Indian Ocean with a boat at 100% operational capacity and to be able to attack the big South where we will have to change down the gears.”

For the leaders it now looks like a fast passage towards the longitude of Cape Town at good speeds. The wind flow around the Saint Helena high pressure system is favourable and in flat water they should be able to sail at close to maximum speed potential.

“There is no sea, no secondary swell and a very favourable weather situation,” explains  assistant race director Fred Lepeutrec from Race HQ in Brest.

“Within 48 hours, the leading duo will begin to slowly curve towards the South East, following the great circle route, the more direct route.

“It’s different to the usual sequence. With the southwest flow of the Saint Helena anticyclone, which will strengthen, they have a slant direct towards the Indian Ocean and conditions to go at their full potential.”

Follow on the live tracker at arkeaultimchallengebrest.com

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Published on January 2nd, 2024 | by Editor

Countdown to the Ultimate race

Published on January 2nd, 2024 by Editor -->

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

Unlike speed records which depart in ideal weather windows for a race against the clock, six solo skippers will push the boundaries of singlehanded racing with class boats that are a maximum length of 32 meters and a maximum width of 23 meters.

Entrants: • Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (2017 Verdier 32/23) • Thomas Coville (FRA), Sodebo Ultim 3 (2019 VPLP/others 32/23) • Tom Laperche (FRA), Trimaran SVR-Lazartigue (2021 VPLP 32/23) • Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Maxi Banque Populaire XI (2021 VPLP 32/23) • Anthony Marchand (FRA), Actual Ultim 3 (2015 VPLP 30/22) • Éric Péron (FRA), Trimaran Adagio (2014 VPLP 31/21)

As a reference, the solo speed record was set in 2017 by François Gabart (FRA) on the 30m Macif trimaran in a time of 42d 14h 40m 15s for an average speed of 21.08 knots. This yacht has been rebranded and will be raced by Marchand.

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Coville is the skipper who has completed the most round-the-world passages on a multihull. He competed in five, completed the loop three times and was once the record holder around the world (49 days and 3 hours in 2016).

“We need to find the right approach to sustain the right level on this unique and singular challenge,” noted Coville. “There is a very big psychological dimension. We are constantly seeking to work at or near our limits, to go beyond normal effort levels despite the accumulated lack of sleep, the risk, the frustrations, the anxiety, the ice.

“I like to tell myself that we are not racing but that we are on a tough expedition. There are days when you burst into tears, days when you scream, days when you go crazy. You end up being a mix between euphoria, exhaustion, and elation.”

Details: https://arkeaultimchallengebrest.com/en

Five rules from the Sailing Instructions: • The start line is kept open for 168 hours and the finish line is closed after an elapsed time of 100 days after the start time, that is to say 16th April 2024.

• The skippers can communicate and exchange with their teams on shore, so they have the freedom to get weather information and be routed by their team on shore and get technical help and advice to help with technical problems.

• The solo skippers can stop but there are two distinct operations. A technical stop is unassisted and requires the sailor to drop anchor, take a mooring, or tie up alongside an anchored or moored boat with no external help. There is no time penalty for a technical stop. But for a technical stopover (escale technique) where one or more crew or technical team come on board to help, there is a mandatory 24 hours minimum. This does not apply to the start port of Brest where all means are authorized to reach or leave the port within a radius of 50 miles.

• For the first time in ocean racing, zones where there are known to be a high concentration of whales and sea mammals are determined. Establishing these zones should both protect the marine wildlife and reduce the chance of a collision. These zones are around the Azores, the Canaries, south of South Africa, the Kerguelens, and parts of the Antarctic.

• There are ice exclusion zones to protect the skippers and their boats.

comment banner


Related Posts

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Ultim Challenge done with final finish →

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Coville finishes second in Arkea Ultim Challenge →

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Caudrelier wins Arkea Ultim Challenge →

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Evil welcome for Arkea Ultim Challenge →

Comments are closed.

© 2024 Scuttlebutt Sailing News. Inbox Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. made by VSSL Agency .

  • Privacy Statement
  • Advertise With Us

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Your Name...
  • Your Email... *
  • Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

ultim trimaran wikipedia



C-Tech 2021 SnuffAir 300x250

Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest: Welcome to the land of the giants!

ultim trimaran wikipedia

Related Articles

ultim trimaran wikipedia


  1. Ultim (trimaran sailboat class)

    Creation of the Ultime Class. In June 2015, an Ultim Collective formed around the Team Banque Populaire, Macif and Sodebo teams. They decided that the overall length should be between 23 meters (minimum) and 32 meters (maximum), which excludes the MOD 70 and Spindrift 2. The Mod 70 class boats, at 21.2-meters LOA, falls short of the class minimum.

  2. Classe Ultime

    La classe Ultime plus connue sous le nom d'Ultime voire d'Ultim 32/23 est une catégorie hétérogène de trimarans de course au large, apparue à l'occasion de la Route du Rhum 2010 et regroupant les plus grands multicoques (supérieur ou égal à 60 pieds de longueur soit 18,28 m).Sa définition en tant que classe Ultim 32/23 date de 2018 ; 6 bateaux en font partie début 2024.

  3. The Ultime Trimaran Ushers in a New Generation of Big Foilers

    SAIL Editors. May 15, 2019. The massive Sodebo is the latest Ultime to emerge from the shed. If anyone doubted that the ocean racing multihull scene was a hotbed of innovation, the new Sodebo Ultim 3 trimaran will lay those questions to rest. The demand from Sodebo, sponsor of veteran solo sailor and sometime Jules Verne record holder Thomas ...

  4. Geronimo (yacht)

    7,136 sq ft (663.0 m 2) (downwind) Crew. 1. Geronimo is a French trimaran designed to break great offshore records. It was skippered by the French yachtsman Olivier de Kersauson. It was launched on Saturday 29 September 2001 in Brest, France by Marie Tabarly. Geronimo was purchased by Sodebo in February 2013 and renamed Sodebo Ultim.

  5. Arkéa Ultim Challenge

    Related Articles Éric Péron finishes fifth and completes the circle Bringing the first edition of the Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest to a close Éric Péron sailing ULTIM ADAGIO crossed the finish line of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest at 14 h 44 27" to finish in fifth position, the final skipper to complete the 22, 460 nautical miles course which started on Sunday 7th January.

  6. Ultime Trimaran: A New Breed of Sailing

    This was roughly 25 minutes outside the race record set by Gabart's mentor, two-time Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, in 2004 aboard his ORMA 60 trimaran, Géant, but Desjoyeaux's win ...

  7. The Supreme Soloists of the Ultimes

    However, while Gabart's MACIF trimaran is going again (in new livery as Anthony Marchand's Actual Ultim 3), it is now one of the older of the six trimarans that will set out. The newest Ultims ...

  8. The whole Class of ULTIM racing trimarans

    24H Ultim: small gaps between the Ultim trimarans on the eve of the Transat Jacques Vabre. In a Word Ocean racing logbook: Voiles de Saint-Tropez, 24H Ultim, IMOCA, Mini Transat. Rolex Fastnet Race, relive the 2023 edition marked by exceptional participation. In a Word

  9. Macif (trimaran)

    Macif is a Ultim class maxi-trimaran launched in 2015. History. Macif was designed by the naval architectural firm Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost with the assistance of GSea Design for calculation of the structure. The yacht is built for long distance sailing competitions and attempts at sailing records.

  10. 100ft foiling Ultim tech tour

    Exclusive tech tour of the Gitana 17/Maxi Edmond de Rothschild Ultim by skipper Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier after their line honours win in the 2021...

  11. Discover

    With the construction projects of new maxi-trimarans including Banque Populaire and Sodebo, the shipowners organized themselves by creating an Ultim Collective in 2013, then an Ultim Class in 2015 whose gauge they defined: the length of the boats is blocked at 32 meters , the width at 23 meters, which automatically excludes the new class of MOD ...

  12. Xavier Guilbaud's view on the ULTIM fleet ahead of the Arkea Ultm

    Xavier Guilbaud has been with French design cabinet VPLP for more than 20 years and so knows the ULTIM fleet much better than most, having been with the company through all of their ULTIM projects. That means of the six giant multihulls which will line up to race round the world on Sunday 7th January he has been involved with the design of ...

  13. Round the world race: 100ft trimarans set for solo race

    The fastest offshore racing designs ever built, the foiling 100ft Ultim trimarans, will go head-to-head in a solo round the world race in 2023. The Ultim class has announced the first single ...

  14. Six solo skippers ready to race 100ft foiling multihulls around the

    Impressive statistics. An Ultim's length can be anything from 24-32m (78ft 8in-105ft) with a maximum beam of 23m (75ft), though in practice all six are trimarans built to, or near to the rule ...

  15. Ultim Trimarans: Historic Solo Round-the-World Race Set to Begin

    The ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest, the first-ever solo race round the world on giant Ultim trimarans, sets sail from Brest, France on January 7. Six solo skippers will push the boundaries of singlehanded racing with boats that are a maximum length of 32 meters and a maximum width of 23 meters.

  16. Trimaran

    A trimaran (or double-outrigger) is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls ... Thomas Coville holds the world record of 49 days and 3 hours for sailing solo around the world in the trimaran Sodebo Ultim, finishing on December 25, 2016.

  17. North Atlantic in six days solo: Arkea Ultim Challenge leaders cross

    The blistering pace set by the 100ft foiling trimarans has seen the leading Ultims cover the North Atlantic, from northern France to the Equator, in six and a half days. For context, on his 2017 ...

  18. All set for The Arkea Ultim Challenge

    The Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest which starts from Brest, France on Sunday 7th January will be the first ever solo race round the world on giant Ultim trimarans, the biggest and fastest ocean going sailboats in the world. ... 2016 - 49d 3h 7m 38s, Thomas Coville (FRA) Sodebo Ultim (previously Geronimo) Trimaran 102 ft. Finished on 25/12/2016 ...

  19. Six French sailors undertake world's first solo Ultim trimaran race

    The six Ultim multihulls moor on the eve of the start of the multihull around-the-world solo sailing race Arkea Ultim Challenge, in Brest, on January 6, 2024.

  20. Countdown to the Ultimate race >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News: Providing

    Published on January 2nd, 2024. The ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest starts from Brest, France on January 7 and will be the first ever solo race round the world on giant Ultim trimarans, the ...

  21. IDEC Sport

    Groupama 3 in Saint-Malo, 2010. Groupama 3 is a Ultim class high performance racing sailing trimaran designed for transoceanic record-setting IDEC SPORT [1] Banque Populaire VII, Lending Club 2, IDEC 3 ). She is one of the world's fastest ocean-going sailing vessels and the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy for circumnavigation of the world.

  22. Arkea Ultim Challenge

    Related Articles Éric Péron finishes fifth and completes the circle Bringing the first edition of the Arkéa Ultim Challenge - Brest to a close Éric Péron sailing ULTIM ADAGIO crossed the finish line of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE - Brest at 14 h 44 27" to finish in fifth position, the final skipper to complete the 22, 460 nautical miles course which started on Sunday 7th January.

  23. Thomas Coville

    2016 : around the world sailing record single-handed on Sodebo Ultim in 49 days 3 hours 7 minutes and 38 seconds (7 days less than Francis Joyon's previous record). 2016 : 24 hours distance record single-handed on the trimaran Sodebo Ultim with 714 nm (29,75 knots). Thomas Coville is the first sailor to beat the 700 nm mark in 24h single-handedly.