Martin Lange, edited by Alexandre Dalifard / Photo credit: LOIC VENANCE / AFP 06:01, 03 December 2023On 7 January, six sailors will embark on an unprecedented adventure. A solo race around the globe. Called the "Arkea Ultim Challenge", this sailing race will start in Brest and is due to finish between 40 and 50 days. The record is 42 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes, held by François Gabart.
Have you heard of Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne's famous novel? This Sunday morning, Europe 1 takes you around the world in less than 50 days and sailing. There are six sailors who have set themselves this crazy challenge: a race around the globe. It's called the Arkea Ultim Challenge and will start from Brest on January 7th.
"They think we're crazy"
Six giants of the seas, the Ultims, these flying boats of more than 30 metres, lined up in the harbour of Brest and ready to embark on a unique adventure. "There are only four people who have managed to sail around the world alone. We're going to be racing for now, so it's a bit of a crazy challenge," admits Tom Laperche, 26, the youngest of the entries.
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Until now, only monohulls had their round-the-world race, the famous Vendée Globe. From now on, trimarans will also be able to compete on the three oceans of the globe. "I can compare it to someone going into space or someone going to climb Everest. Let's go on an extraordinary adventure. Maybe write a new big page. We are clearly in this ambition, as were the sailors of the Vendée Globe in 1989 during the first edition. There were thirteen of them, and we thought they were a bit crazy. I think that today, people think we are crazy," admits Armel Le Cléach.
The goal is to finish the race between 40 and 50 days, almost half as long as Phileas Fogg, the character imagined by Jules Verne. "We're being asked to hold out for 50 days, to go faster than any boat has ever raced around the world. It's an adventure to go around the world. I hope we can all do it," said Charles Caudrelier. And, for the best of them, dreaming of the world record: 42 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes. François Gabart has held this record since 2017.