Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest Sets Sail Towards History with the Precision of Alpina Timekeepers

July 7, 2023
3 mins read
Alpina x Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest
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As the seconds tick away, each moment bringing us closer to a historical expedition, the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest stakes are set high. This is not just a story of ocean-faring stalwarts setting sail solo on the wings of the wind; it is an amalgamation of daring human endeavor, cutting-edge technology, and an illustrious history of precision timekeeping, thanks to Swiss luxury watchmaker Alpina stepping in as Official Timekeeper.

The Ultimate Face-off: Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest

With 200 days on the clock, the anticipation is palpable. Set to embark on Sunday, 7 January 2024, this first-ever solo round-the-world race for the Ultim 32/23 trimarans has gripped everyone’s attention. Standing in the Ateliers des Capucins, Place des Machines in Brest, the heart of this colossal event, one can’t help but feel the escalating excitement. The countdown clock, the symbolic harbinger of the impending adventure, serves as a stark reminder of the race’s magnitude.

The skippers and their teams are burning the midnight oil, relentlessly preparing for the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest. Having returned to the water following the traditional winter refits, they are busy learning, fine-tuning, and performance testing their Ultim 32/23, these monumental trimarans – embodiments of technology and innovation.

Marking Time with Alpina

The significance of the race date resonates strongly with all involved – the teams, the organizers OC Sport Pen Duick, their title sponsor Arkea, their main partners Metropole and City of Brest, the Region of Brittany, the Department of Finistère and now, Alpina. This Swiss watchmaker, celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2023, has time and again displayed an indomitable spirit of adventure and innovation, and has now become an integral part of this unprecedented maritime endeavor.


As Official Timekeeper, Alpina will not just keep the tick-tock in check, but will also embody the unyielding spirit of this extraordinary expedition. The brand, no stranger to extreme challenges, has a legacy of inspiring adventurers with its “Extreme” line of watches, and has an impressive history of collaborations with bold explorers. With the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest, Alpina is all set to rekindle its ties with the world of competitive sailing, further strengthening its association with the nautical world.

The Countdown Begins

To mark the 200 days leading to the race’s departure, Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest and Alpina have set up a physical countdown clock within the Ateliers des Capucins in Brest. This spot, by no means chosen randomly, is destined to become a hotspot for all stakeholders as the big day draws nearer.

Joseph Bizard, Managing Director of OC Sport Pen Duick, has echoed the palpable excitement surrounding this historic event. Along with the teams, he acknowledges the robust support from partners, especially Alpina, whose precision and pursuit of sporting challenges resonate with the spirit of the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest.

Alpina Communications Director, Yasmina Pedrini, mirrors this sentiment, expressing pride in the brand’s association with the upcoming race. Emphasizing on shared values of determination, dedication, and discipline, Pedrini reflects on Alpina’s history of supporting explorers, athletes, and adventurers.

Alpina x Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest

Towards a Historic Future

The Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest represents more than a thrilling competition; it is a testament to the shared commitment, adventurous spirit, and the relentless pursuit of excellence that unite Alpina and the world of ocean racing.

Sailing Ahead: The Voyage of Innovation

Indeed, the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest is as much about the power of human spirit as it is about technological prowess. These Ultim 32/23 trimarans, described as powerhouses of technology and innovation, are expected to push the boundaries of sailing performance. The teams will have to navigate the most treacherous of conditions, mastering both the art and science of ocean racing.

Time and Tide Wait for None

With Alpina’s history of creating reliable sports watches capable of braving any conditions, and their strong ties to exploration and extreme sports, they are the perfect match for this daring endeavor. The countdown clock installed in Brest isn’t just a physical embodiment of the time left for the race to begin; it symbolizes the race against time that each skipper will face once they venture into the vast, unpredictable sea.

Navigating into the Future

The partnership between the Arkea Ultim Challenge – Brest and Alpina does not end with the sounding of the last horn. This alliance is intended to sail far beyond the conclusion of the race, stretching till 2026, including the next Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, which assembles the largest offshore racing fleet of all levels at a common starting line.

Click on this link to read this article in French version

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