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Article: Just 200 days until the start gun!

Just 200 days until the start gun!

Just 200 days until the start gun!

With less than eight months until the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest, 21 June 2023 is an important milestone. With 200 days to go until the scheduled departure on Sunday, 7 January 2024, the first ever solo round-the-world race for the Ultim 32/23 welcomes the Swiss luxury watchmaker Alpina as Official Timekeeper. To mark this symbolic date, a countdown clock has been installed at the Ateliers des Capucins, Place des Machines in Brest, the future hub of what promises to be an epic race.

Preparations are already well underway. The skippers and their teams have their Ultim 32/23 back in the water following the traditional winter refits. These shakedown sails all bring their share of learning, fine-tuning and performance tests with a single goal in mind: the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest. For the first time ever, skippers will race solo round-the-world aboard giant trimarans – true powerhouses of technology and innovation.

Alpina, audacity, adventure and innovation

The start gun is due to sound on 7 January 2024 in Brest, in just 200 days’ time – a particularly significant date for the teams, the organisers (OC Sport Pen Duick), their title sponsor (Arkea) and their main partners (Metropole and City of Brest, the Region of Brittany, the Department of Finistère). The group is now joined in this unprecedented adventure by Swiss watchmaker Alpina. Celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2023, Alpina has always been driven by a spirit of adventure and a sense of innovation, having invented the concept of sports watches with exceptional reliability in all conditions.

Bold and ready to confront the most extreme challenges, Alpina has always been inspired by the alpine world, building solid partnerships with those who aspire to the summits, such as their alliance with the French Ski Federation, as provider of the official watch. This year, the Swiss watchmaker will delight adventure-lovers with new versions of its “Extreme” line, designed to brave any conditions.

A challenge that spans the oceans

The nautical world and the values it stands for have been an integral part of the Alpina universe since the 1960s when it launched the Seastrong 10 – a diving watch that is water-resistant up to 200 metres – later followed by the Yachttimer collection for sailing. Throughout its history, Alpina has forged strong ties with the world’s boldest explorers in the toughest environments. The brand is therefore preparing to return to the world of competition with the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest that spans the oceans.

As Official Timekeeper, Alpina is proud to support the most extreme human and technological challenges ever faced in a race. Determination, personal achievement and discipline will be the hallmarks of this adventure, values shared by Alpina since its creation.

To celebrate the 200 days before the race departure, ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest and Alpina have installed a physical countdown clock within the Ateliers des Capucins in Brest. A site that owes nothing to chance since it will be one of the hotspots for all stakeholders in the run-up to the big day.

Joseph Bizard, Managing Director of OC Sport Pen Duick: “Ocean racing is marked by symbolic dates and 21 June 2023 is one of them. In just 200 days, world-renowned skippers and prestigious teams will set off for a historic challenge that has long defied imagination. We are happy to be able to count on the strong support of our partners in this adventure. A pleasure shared with Alpina, a manufacturer always at the forefront of sporting challenges and who has now become the Official Timekeeper of the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest. The countdown has truly begun!”

Yasmina Pedrini, Alpina Communications Director: “Alpina is proud to join forces with the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE – Brest. The very essence of our company has been dedicated to the exploration of nature since its founding in 1883. This race across the oceans will require determination, dedication and discipline on the part of the competitors. These are values that Alpina also advocates and which are exemplified through our community of mountaineers, athletes and friends of the brand. This is a long-term partnership that will run until 2026 and includes the next Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, which musters the biggest offshore racing fleet of all levels on the same starting line.”

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