Ultim 32/23: A fantastic duel
Three maxi-trimarans straight out of CDK Technologies yards lined up this year for the start of the 12th Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe: the most recent additions to the Ultim 32/23 Class, SVR-Lazartigue (CDK-U-06-2021) skippered by François Gabart and the Maxi Banque Populaire XI (CDK-U-05-2021) skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h, as well as Yves Le Blévec’s Actual Ultim 3 (CDK-U-03-2015), a boat with a highly prestigious track record. The former posted a superb performance to take second place in Pointe-à-Pitre on 16 November, completing the course in less than seven days, just 3 hours 15 minutes shy of the winner.
This tiny deficit testifies to the intensity of the racing out on the racetrack, as well as the commitment of François Gabart who, despite an issue with the system for raising the port foil, still managed to demonstrate the incredible potential of his machine. Indeed, he maintained an average speed of between 45 and 50 knots during a masterful tack to the south of the Azores. “I don’t think anyone vying for victory in the Route du Rhum missed out on moments like that,” commented François Gabart, whose boat has been designed to push back the limits of offshore flight and whose key parts (floats, beams and foils) were fabricated by CDK Technologies. Clearly the story of his boat has only just begun.
“This second place marked the start of the life of this boat and it augurs well going forward,” added Gabart, who finished in the same place as he did four years ago aboard Macif.
Macif has gone on to become Actual Ultim 3, which finished in 5th place in Guadeloupe this year, something skipper Yves Le Blévec was rather disappointed about.
It was a similar scenario for Armel Le Cléac’h, forced to make a technical pit stop in Lorient after damaging his centreboard. For the latter, just crossing the finish line proved to be very rewarding after all the effort put into repairing the boat and setting sail again. It’s a valuable lesson on the road to continuing to make progress, develop the boat and focus on fresh challenges.
IMOCA: Top-flight competition
Mirroring the Ultim 32/23 fleet in many ways, the IMOCA match was particularly fierce, especially among the top seven.
In the end, it was virtually a full house for the Breton yard with two boats in the Top 3: Apivia (CDK-I(F)11-2019) skippered by Charlie Dalin and Charal skippered by Jérémie Beyou (CDK-I(F)-15-2022). Both of them staked a claim on pole position from the get-go. The first dominated play with disconcerting ease for the first six days of racing before Thomas Ruyant powered back into contention on Advens/LinkedOut some 1,100 miles from the finish. From that point on, the two men were embroiled in a magnificent duel, but despite his best efforts, Dalin had to make do with second place on the podium.
Ultimately, he shared the podium with Jérémie Beyou, who posted an outstanding and very respectable performance with a boat only launched on 11 July. Rarely in the history of the IMOCA class have boats designed and built after a Vendée Globe completed the Route du Rhum. In this way, the skipper of Charal has thwarted predictions, lending further credence to the expertise and quality of manufacture at CDK Technologies. “My goal was to go sailing and get the boat to the other side. The result is far beyond anything we’d hoped for,” admitted the sailor from northern Brittany.
There were two other key points to note in the IMOCA category. Firstly, the very fine performance by Teamwork (CDK-I(F)10-2018) skippered by Justine Mettraux, 7th (and first female sailor) in this Route du Rhum 2022. Secondly, the fact that ten of the eleven IMOCAs built by CDK Technologies at the start of the race made it to the finish in Guadeloupe; Groupe APICIL (CDK-I(F)-09-2015) skippered by Damien Seguin unfortunately forced to retire after a cargo ship collided with him on the second day of racing.
Ocean Fifty: Another time
Heralded as one of the main contenders for victory, if not the firm favourite in this 12th Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe in the Ocean Fifty class, Sam Goodchild regrettably had to throw in the towel in the opening minutes of the race. Suffering injuries to his arms and face after a technical issue caused the winch pedestal to backwind, the skipper of Leyton (CDK-OF-03-2017) suddenly had to give up all hope of success in Pointe-à-Pitre.
Meantime the skipper of Groupe GCA -1001 Sourires (CDK-OF-02-2009) had to contend with a mainsail hook issue during the start phase and was subsequently unable to return to port due to the unfavourable weather conditions offshore of Cape Finisterre. Nevertheless, he went on to secure 6th place, nearly 2 days and 12 hours after the winner of the category, Erwan Le Roux on Koesio, confirming the potential of his latest generation VPLP design.
Rhum Mono: the Cigare Rouge legend continues
It’s a done deal for Catherine Chabaud. At the front of the pack from the start of the race, the skipper of Formatives ESI Business School Pour Ocean As Common (CDK-I-01-1991) managed to hold onto second place in the Rhum Mono category all the way to the finish. Indeed, on Monday evening French time, she rounded off her transatlantic passage in style on the famous Cigare Rouge, a truly legendary boat which she knows like the back of her hand having secured 6th place on her in the Vendée Globe 1996-1997.
Yann Dollo, Assistant Manager CDK Technologies: “The boats built by CDK Technologies have carried off no fewer than four of the nine podium places in Ultim 32/23, IMOCA and Rhum Mono; proof that the experience and expertise demonstrated by the Breton yard never fail.
For CDK Technologies, the IMOCA class podium is particularly promising for the next Vendée Globe with the new boats for Thomas Ruyant and Charlie Dalin currently in build at the yard’s two sites. Suffice to say that their delivery is very eagerly awaited. They’ll join Charal and Maître Coq, which were delivered in the summer of 2022.
In Ocean Fifty, the sistership to Koesio is also in build at the CDK Lorient site for Fabrice Cahierc, who announced the continuation of the Planet Warriors programme by the Réalités group shortly before the start of the Route du Rhum.
Anecdotally, in Rhum Mono, there was a rather nice exchange involving Jean-Luc Van Den Heede immediately prior to this race, as he remembered how enjoyable it had been to build the boat (Cigare Rouge) at CDK Technologies back in the day with one Hubert Desjoyeaux.”