The closing of registrations, last Friday, lifted the veil on the set of sailors and boats which will take the start on January 7 of the Arkéa Ultim Challenge – Brest, the first round the world solo and in a race disputed in Ultimate trimaran. And they will be five to set off for this major challenge aboard flying boats 32 meters long and 23 meters wide: Charles Caudrelier (Maxi Edmond de Rothschild), Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire XI), Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3), Tom Laperche (SVR-Lazartigue) and Anthony Marchand (Actual Ultim 3).

If the first three qualified by finishing the last Route du rhum, the last two succeed respectively François Gabart and Yves Le Blévec and had to complete a qualification course of 2500 miles alone. “It will be interesting to see these two skippers rubbing shoulders with the others, who are showing that there is room for young talent in this exceptional class,” explains Guillaume Rottée, the race director, who is delighted with the quality of the tray, certainly not very numerous but of quality. Charles Caudrelier won the crewed round the world race then the last rum route, Armel Le Cléac’h the Vendée Globe and the Solitaire du Figaro three times, Thomas Coville the solo round the world record, Tom Laperche the last Solitaire du Figaro and Anthony Marchand the Armen Race as a crew.

“We are lucky to be able to count on an exceptional line-up,” notes Guillaume Rottée. Few skippers have the capacity to compete in a solo circumnavigation aboard these exceptional boats which have reached a mature phase. It is the creme de la creme”. To be tasted next January, the contenders will be running in by then during the Rolex Fastnet Race (starting on July 22), the Azimut Challenge (from September 19 to 24, 2023) and the Transat Jacques Vabre (October 29).