As the last French stronghold standing between the Atlantic and the Americas, Brest is accustomed to welcoming record starts and finishes, whether they are done solo or with a crew. Now, it’s offshore racing that is anchored to this Finisterian port. On November 3rd, and in an exceptional setting, the harbor will be a place where Bretons and many others alike will watch the Ultims depart for the immense Atlantic Ocean.

In 1978 there was a small yellow double-outrigger that brushed mustaches with a large sailboat to win the first ever Route du Rhum. Since then, multihulls have marked the world of ocean racing by multiplying story after story. The Ultims could acknowledge the advent of the “flight” mode by leaving behind the “Archimedean” method. (R)evolution in progress.


The Atlantic, or rather the North and South Atlantic will become the fall playground for the Actual Leader, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, the Trimaran MACIF, and the Sodebo Ultim 3 for a 14,000-mile loop.

On November 3rd, 2019 at 1:02 pm, “Brest Atlantiques” will send off the most wonderful oceanic multihulls that ever set sea. The 4 Ultims will be gathered together to start a 14,000 nautical mile triangular route across the North and South Atlantic: Actual Leader by Yves Le Blevec, Trimaran MACIF by François Gabart, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild by Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, Sodebo Ultim 3 by Thomas Coville.

The first section of the 5,000 nautical mile course will take the 4 duos to the Brazilian coastline, leaving the Cagarras Islands archipelago in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro to their portside, as they circumvent their first mark.

As far as the latitude of the Azores, there is a high probability of having to face crossing fronts with headwinds. This will be the route’s first obstacle. Quickly, at Cape Verde, the positioning strategy will prove to be crucial in crossing the equator, and especially making it through the snares of the “Doldrums”, the second most important obstacle not to be taken lightly by competitors.

Then it will be a fast-downwind descent over 1000 nautical miles alongside Brazil between Recife and Cape Frio, which will bring them to the prestigious bay of Rio de Janeiro, sometimes proving to be a trap for its somewhat quiet conditions. This beginning descent in the South Atlantic could prove to be a strategic point to close-in, or at very least a possible slowdown.

The second section, between Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town, representing over 3,250 nautical miles to be covered during their crossing of the South Atlantic, could provide additional strategic opportunities between the American and African continents. The St.Helena High will be the judge of that…

The southbound circumvention will give the competitors the benefit of downwind conditions to reach the second course mark, Robben Island on the outskirts of Cape Town. This may lead to choosing very southern paths in latitude. These flying boats could then reach islands like Tristan da Cuna and Gough Island located at the gates of the roaring forties, in cold waters with possible iceberg drifts.

After Robben Island off of Cape Town, there  remains the third and final section of the course to be discussed, no less than the 7,000 nautical miles required for the Ultims to reach the old continent at the port of Brest.

The duos will have to negotiate once again to skirt around the St Helena High and strategically position themselves to get past the Doldrums and out of the South Atlantic.

The last and final sprint will take place in the North Atlantic, governed by the whims of the Azores high… which will be the last judge, synonymous with victory. It is at the gates of the city of Le Ponant that the final ranking of this incredible 14,000 nautical mile competition in the Atlantic triangle will be revealed.


This exceptional offshore race called on a watchmaker that has been sailing for many years and is a partner of one of the greatest offshore races.

RALF TECH is therefore delighted, after having clocked the GLOBE SALE, the ENGLISH TRANSAT, the JACQUES VABRE TRANSAT, the GOLDEN GLOBE, to become the official timekeeper of the BREST ATLANTIQUES.

We will therefore have the important task of deciding between exceptional skippers whom, as duos, are:

> Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias on the SODEBO ULTIM 3

> François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet on the MACIF

> Yves Le Blevec and Alex Pella on the ACTUAL LEADER

> Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier on the MAXI EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD

It is worth noting that each boat will have a “Mediaman” on board in addition to its two skippers to transmit image content ashore.

Lastly, in conjunction with the timing of the race, the two winners will receive a WRV Automatic Chronograph “Barracuda”, our new maritime timepiece.


Heavily inspired by the 70’s, the WRV is a link between two eras. Both vintage and contemporary, it harmoniously combines the best of both worlds through complex and elegant contours that pay tribute to seventies aesthetics, while also incorporating today’s technologies. Based on the same principles and ideas as the WRV, this newcomer shares nothing in common. This model is 100% new and was presented in Basel last March.

A new case: The new chronograph WRV measures 43.9mm in diameter. Alternating between polished and satin-finished surfaces, it houses a crown positioned at 3 o’clock (it was off-center on the automatic WRV) with two pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. These pushers that make it possible to activate the chronograph are of course – required for any professional watch – screwed in to prevent any untimely operation.

Lastly, the sapphire crystal on top is 3.5mm thick and makes it one of the thickest in terms of today’s timepieces, required for water resistance.

A new movement: Made in Japan, the new RT002® movement is a masterpiece of the world of watchmaking. This automatic chronograph movement has 292 parts and 34 ruby jewel bearings, perfectly combining mechanical watchmaking tradition with a high-precision chronograph function.

Most importantly, the chronograph activation mechanism consists of a column wheel. Considered by both industry and collectors as the most coveted chronograph mechanism, the column wheel offers a very soft tactile sensation thanks to its vertical clutch, which makes it even more pleasant to use than the horizontal cam lever chronograph system used in traditional Swiss movements.

A new dial: Panda… This name, well known to savvy collectors, means that, just as panda bears are black and white, with their black eyes and snout contrasted by their white fur, the new WRV Automatic Chronograph’s dial is white with black counters or – and then there’s the Inverted Panda – black with white dials. Inspired by 1960s chronographs, the WRV Automatic Chronograph “Barracuda” brings us back to a time when scuba diving was considered a dangerous sport reserved for a well-informed public.

A new bracelet: supported by a French Navy parachute strap, the WRV “Barracuda” Automatic Chronograph underlines the strong link between RALF TECH and the French Navy. This system was invented in the 1970s by marine commandos because at the time, the watches they were sent were delivered… without bracelets! This clever craftsmanship has ever since become synonymous with performance and comfort when worn.

A new workshop: Once again, RALF TECH, a French company, is committed to employing French artisan craftsmen. The new WRV Automatic Chronograph is assembled in France and more precisely in the country’s capital, Paris.

The WRV “Barracuda” Automatic Chronograph is available in 3 different styles, one with the Panda dial and the other two with an inverted Panda dial, two with a 316L surgical steel case and the other with a black PVD coated case.

Technical specificities and features of the WRV ‘Barracuda” Automatic Chronograph:

> Mechanical chronograph movement with automatic winding RTAC002®

> Chronograph with column-wheel mechanism and vertical clutch release

> Power reserve up to 45 hours

> Actual water resistance 200M / 660FT 

> Hour, minute, second functions, chronograph, immersion time calculation by graduated bezel.

> Surgical steel case 316L satin-finished and polished depending on the surface with a diameter of 43.9mm (excluding crown and pushers) and 316L satin surgical steel case covered with black PVD in Black version

> Professional 120-clicks unidirectional bezel, black aluminum insert

> Curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside, 3.5 mm thick

> Crown and pushers screwed in

> Screwed-in back case with serial number engraving.

> Black “Marine Nationale” bracelet and black silicone bracelet

> Made in France