by Peter Rusch
Banque Populaire V on the final day of the Jules Verne Trophy attempt - January 2012
Loïck Peyron, the skipper of the French Energy Team, has led his crew on the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire on a record-setting lap of the planet.
Peyron and his team have shaved nearly three days off the existing record to claim the Jules Verne Trophy in an incredible time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds. Incredibly, the team covered 29002 miles at an average speed of 26.5 knots.
'This is my third time around the world, and second in less than a year (Peyron won the Barcelona World Race in 2011), so it's a strange feeling at the finish,' he said moments after crossing the line. 'I think I will realise more what we've accomplished tomorrow, when we come ashore.'
Energy Team - competing in their AC45 in the America’s Cup World Series San Diego 2011
But the scale of the achievement hasn't been lost on the America's Cup community.
'Congratulations to Loïck Peyron and his crew on breaking the non-stop circumnavigation record,' Iain Murray, America's Cup Regatta Director said. 'This feat is a major achievement in the sport of sailing. We look forward to the Peyrons and France's Energy Team bringing this same winning formula to the America's Cup World Series this year.'
In the process of setting the round-the-world record Peyron and the Banque Populaire crew also set four intermediate records, mostly on the strength of a blazing start to their voyage.
Time to Equator = 5d 14h 55mn 10 seconds
Time to Cape of Good Hope = 11 days 21 hours 48 minutes and 18 seconds
Time to Cape Leeuwin = 17 days 23 hours 57 minutes and 18 seconds
Time from Equator to Equator = 32 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds
Attempts at capturing the Jules Verne Trophy, like the Energy Team project, are something of a family affair for Loïck and his brother Bruno who set the inaugural Jules Verne Trophy standard in 1993 with a time of 79 days. He shaved 15 days from that time 2002 and in 2005 Bruno bettered himself again, setting a target of 50 days and 16 hours.
Loick and Bruno Peyron - America’s Cup World Series 2011
After forging successful but separate sailing careers, Bruno and Loïck Peyron have come together to pour their wealth of experience into Energy Team, with Loïck focused on the sailing team and Bruno the CEO.
Loïck will now have a very short time to enjoy his achievement before returning to duty with Energy Team.
(All times pending ratification).
There will be more from Energy Team and Loïck Peyron on Saturday CET, when the boat is due to arrive in Brest.