• A Decisive Win For Gitana 17




    It is done ! After 28 days 23 hours 24 minutes and 46 seconds of sea, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the media man Yann Riou, won "Brest Atlantiques" this Wednesday, December 4 at 10:24'46 ''. A first big offshore victory for Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, who will have traveled a total of 17,084 miles, at 24.57 knots of real average speed.

    Leaving Brest on November 5th in muscular conditions, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier found this Wednesday morning the city of Ponant in a "time of young lady" (flat sea, light breeze of east, rising sun), crossing as winners to 10h24'46 '' , after having chained the tackings in the last hours of racing, the finish line of "Brest Atlantiques" after exactly 28 days 23 hours 24 minutes and 46 seconds of sea.

    Having arrived at the helm of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild at the end of last April, the two skippers, already winners in August of the Fastnet, a race that had allowed them to gain confidence in their ability to lead the flying Ultim trimaran, thus offer themselves great victory of prestige on a long-distance event, which, by its format, its duration and its course, had all of a big jump in the unknown, for them and for their playmates.

    At the finish, this victory is indisputable: after taking control of the race on the second night of the sea by jibe the first along the Moroccan coast, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier kept them until their technical stop on 12 November in Salvador de Bahia - a stop that lasted 13 hours and 40 minutes, the time a small team dispatched by the Gitana Team proceeds to the repair of the plane carrying the drift damaged just before Cape Verde. They then took only two days to return to the lead, on November 14 at 20h off Rio, a first place they have not released since. That's about 25 days spent at the outposts on almost 29 in total!




    The recipe for this success ? A boat, launched on July 17, 2017, which, after more than two years of development (second of the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2017, abandonment on the Route du Rhum in November 2018 after the loss of the front the starboard float), is now a stallion for the fleet of "Ultim", the first designed specifically for flying offshore (by the architect Guillaume Verdier and the Gitana Team design office under the responsibility of Pierre Tissier); and two sailors, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, who at the age of 46 and 45 respectively, were able to quickly find the joysticks of their machine, thanks to their experience of the offshore trimaran and their talent (the first was elected Marin year in 2012 and 2013, the second in 2018).

    In addition to their victories on a hull (Solitaire du Figaro once each, Volvo Ocean Race together in 2012 on Groupama 4, as skipper of Dongfeng Race Team in 2018 for Charles Caudrelier), they have indeed sailed a lot and won on three hulls before joining in April the offshore racing team created by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild in 2000: Franck Cammas in Orma (he has three victories on the Transat Jacques Vabre in the 2000s) then on the Groupama maxi 3 (Jules Verne Trophy crewed then Route du Rhum solo the same year, in 2010), Charles Caudrelier in MOD 70 (success on the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2013, already under the colors of the Gitana Team).

    This experience and their good understanding on board allowed them to reach Maxi Edmond de Rothschild at maximum potential throughout the 17,084 miles actually traveled (the direct route is 13,752 miles), with an impressive average of 24.57. knots (best day on November 18 with 741 miles in 24 hours, 30.9 knots average), which made Franck Cammas say Tuesday, when being overflown by a Navy aircraft: "The oceans shrink with this kind of boat, this race was a good test to test it, we saw what could break, what was tired and things to improve, it was really an interesting race to prepare the world tours ". World tours that are indeed the future horizons of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and trimarans of the Ultim 32/23 class ...



    The first words of the winners:

    Franck Cammas: "It was a very difficult race, there were ups and downs, but it went really well. With Charles, we were successful, it's great. We fought from beginning to end, we are always happy to have our competitors far behind. Our complicity pays, we bring each one more to another, Charles was really good, I'm delighted, we made a good pair. "

    Charles Caudrelier: "The last hours were long, with not much wind, we waited a bit to arrive at the right time, have a little show and share it not alone. It is beautiful, this coast is sublime, I loved the last night, because we went to all the places where I learned to sail, it was fun to hang out in the corner. I'm in love with this boat, since the first day, I love it, I've never had so much fun, every day, I want to sail on it. I think we can say that it's the most beautiful boat in the world, it's the first one that was designed to fly offshore, it's just magical. "


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    Winners of "Brest Atlantiques" after a little less than 29 days at sea, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, accompanied by the media man Yann Riou, were celebrated by the Brestois on their arrival late Wednesday morning at the pontoon of the Recouvrance, quay Malbert. A welcome that both sailors enjoyed, just as they enjoyed this first big offshore victory for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.




    What is your feeling after this victory?

    Franck Cammas: It's a pleasure to arrive like this after such an intense race, full of events and adventures. We still worked a lot on the boat for it to advance, it was 30 intense days and a victory at the end with our competitors who are far behind. We benefit today.
    Charles Caudrelier: It's a great satisfaction, a huge happiness for us and for the whole team. When the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was launched in flying mode four years ago, it was very daring, there were difficult moments, but today, we prove that it is the right way and that it is the future, with this exceptional and magical boat that will mark the history of offshore racing.

    Did you give a lot to get this win?

    Franck Cammas:I think we have never softened. From the first hours of racing that were difficult, we were at the helm throughout the Bay of Biscay. The first days were quite intense, with our competitors fighting well around us, with gybes, maneuvers, changes of sails ... Then we had our little technical adventures each on our side at Cape Verde, we had to stop in Bahia, but in the end, we are very happy to have made this stop to leave with a boat in perfect condition which gave us a lot of happiness and pleasure. Then we had other problems in the south, but in the end, we are in front and we stayed fast until the end, it's good to have a boat in this state after 30 days of sea. In recent years, the boats have made a lot of progress in reliability.

    In what state does the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finally end?

    Charles Caudrelier: It is not 100% of his performance, he was a little slower than we wanted, we did not fly as much as we would have liked, but frankly, he could have done still a few miles by going fast and he is honest. It is already a great success to have done 30 days at this speed, we are very proud to have proved that it could last 30 days. We can still progress, but given the weather we had, it is a very good result. And that's just the beginning…




    How were decisions made on board?

    Franck Cammas: We fight! (laughs) . No, it's good to be two, because we exchange a lot, and even if we do not always agree, it allows to challenge to find the optimal solution. We have a real trust in each other, Charles has been very good, he pushed me sometimes, I also hope to have pushed, to move forward as quickly as possible.
    Charles Caudrelier: In taking stock, I said that we sometimes did not agree, because we still both have a strong enough character, but finally, we often made the right decisions, we have well managed to challenge. And we were not two, we were three with someone who followed us on the ground day and night for 30 days, who also has a big character(their router Marcel Van Triest) , we had good discussions, but constructive.

    What makes this boat above the others?

    Franck Cammas:You must not believe that he is very much above. During the first days, we saw that it was tight, especially with MACIF who had not taken the same option. We all had our share of galleys, we will see how he was disabled, because I think he was well disabled from Rio. What is certain is that over half of the race we were faster. In the sea conditions that we had in the South, in the Forties, this boat was easier, because it is very high on the water, steep and reliable, so that we dare to attack in the conditions difficult. After, in the lighter conditions, in the trade winds, MACIF should have been faster. I also think we played well in the weather, we went to places where, without Marcel on the ground and his satellite images, we would not necessarily have passed, we have shortened our route enormously. We made two extraordinary passes in the Doldrums, and over the last three days we were able to catch a front at five o'clock, which allowed us to make an almost direct route to Brest. This is also what we won, not just the speed of the boat.


    In terms of course, weather, has it been interesting to live?

    Franck Cammas:Yes, in a month of racing, we saw everything that could happen around the earth, we even tasted the fortieths. Even if we did not have long surfs on the big swell, we were still in the cold and in the wind. And on the Atlantic, on the go and return, all the seasons parade, we had all the possible weather situations, so it is necessarily very interesting. And it is quite exhausting on board, because every twelve hours, we enter other weather systems, with different stress each time. It's really a race that is not easy, I found it was one of the hardest I've done, it's even harder than a record, because we have more opponents to challenge us constantly, forcing us to push the boat all the time.

    Charles, you said that you had found the pleasure of sailing, can you tell us more?

    Charles Caudrelier: I did two world tours on a Volvo 65, I had fun on the race, but not much on this boat. Here we are on the best, we talk about Formula 1. And it is true that this boat gave me the taste to sail, I have all the time took pleasure, we discover a lot of things I feel like I'm learning all the time, because it's a new way of sailing, I've never flown before I set foot on this boat. So yes, it's a happiness, I feel good on this boat, safe, and there is still plenty to do, we have plenty of ideas in mind. Franck has 12,000 ideas per second, I think this boat is at the beginning of its evolution and we still have plenty to do.



    A year after the Route du Rhum, "Brest Atlantiques" was a test for the boats of the Ultim 32/23 class, can we say that it went well?

    Franck Cammas: I honestly think it was such a difficult race that seeing the boats come out almost intact and still very fast at the end makes the test successful. And anyway, when we race offshore on prototypes, the challenge is permanent, all boats need time to be developed. This is the normal life, we must not believe that when there are breaks, it is not normal, on the contrary.

    You have won many other races, what place does this victory have in your list?

    Franck Cammas: She has a particular flavor, because it's a return to offshore racing. I'm glad I did not lose my hand, I think I even improved. Just because it's been eight years since I did not do an offshore race did not make me turn my thumbs, far from it. And I think that my sailing experience and the America's Cup gave me another, rather interesting, vision. It's the same for Charles with the Volvo Ocean Race. And I am delighted to have joined a team that, in addition to having a good base with this boat, has the desire, the motivation and the means to develop it. And me, whenever there is the means to develop a boat with an open gauge, I am happy.

    Charles Caudrelier:She holds a beautiful place. What made me want to sail is the Figaro and it is the multihull, Laurent Bourgnon on the Route du Rhum in particular. I have always dreamed of being on a multihull solo, it will come one day, I believe (he must do the Route du Rhum 2022 on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild) . So it's my childhood dream come true, it took me a long time, I had to work a lot to get there, but today, I'm very happy and proud to be here, and I hope to have some more beautiful adventures on this boat.

    The race as seen by Yann Riou (media man of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild):

    "With Franck and Charles, it went really well, we knew each other well, since we've been sailing together for ten years, but they still manage to surprise me sometimes. Compared to the Volvo, it was different, because we have a lot less customers at our disposal, but they really played the game, they were always available when I asked them. Stress is also very different. On the Volvo, there is constant discomfort, because we are always wet, in a closed and closed space in which we can not really sit, it is not very pleasant. On "Brest Atlantiques", it is another form of stress, essentially linked to speed. It vibrates and it moves a lot, it's not always relaxing. There were difficult moments, especially the first days after Rio, life on board was really complicated, I was still ejected from my bunk. There is another form of complexity that is the length of the race, even if the advantage over the Volvo is that as we go much faster, we cross the weather systems and we change atmosphere a lot more quickly, we do not stay a week in the same conditions. An anecdote ? Just before arriving in Cape Town I really wanted to film the South African coast at sunset, I took advantage of a moment when they took a laugh to send the drone because the boat was moving a little slower, and it turned out that I could no longer follow the boat with the drone. Franck then agreed to slow down the boat a little, very little, to catch up.

    " There is another form of complexity that is the length of the race, even if the advantage over the Volvo is that as we go much faster, we cross the weather systems and we change atmosphere a lot more quickly, we do not stay a week in the same conditions. An anecdote ? Just before arriving in Cape Town I really wanted to film the South African coast at sunset, I took advantage of a moment when they took a laugh to send the drone because the boat was moving a little slower, and it turned out that I could no longer follow the boat with the drone. Franck then agreed to slow down the boat a little, very little, to catch up. " There is another form of complexity that is the length of the race, even if the advantage over the Volvo is that as we go much faster, we cross the weather systems and we change atmosphere a lot more quickly, we do not stay a week in the same conditions.

    An anecdote ? Just before arriving in Cape Town I really wanted to film the South African coast at sunset, I took advantage of a moment when they took a laugh to send the drone because the boat was moving a little slower, and it turned out that I could no longer follow the boat with the drone. Franck then agreed to slow down the boat a little, very little, to catch up. " we cross the weather systems and change atmosphere much faster, we do not stay a week in the same conditions. An anecdote ? Just before arriving in Cape Town I really wanted to film the South African coast at sunset, I took advantage of a moment when they took a laugh to send the drone because the boat was moving a little slower, and it turned out that I could no longer follow the boat with the drone. Franck then agreed to slow down the boat a little, very little, to catch up. " we cross the weather systems and change atmosphere much faster, we do not stay a week in the same conditions.

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