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Doyles Sails - Onfire

Maxi Banque Populaire V enters history after taking Jules Verne Trophy

by Banque Populaire on 8 Jan 2012
The view from onboard Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V BPCE
Maxi Banque Populaire V was launched back in August 2008 and on the tail end of a second attempt, she and her crew have entered the history books by claiming the Jules Verne Trophy at the end of a 45 day 13 hour 42 minute and 53 second navigation around the globe. The crew sailed Maxi Banque Populaire V into Brest this morning amid cheers emanating from hundreds of supporters.

Loïck Peyron and his crew have just completed an unprecedented exploit, covering 29 002 miles at an average speed of 26.51 knots. After more than twenty years of involvement as a shipowner, the Group Banque Populaire sees once again his loyalty being rewarded. This performance, the holy grail of offshore racing, is the result of the immense work undertook by an outstanding technical team and the cohesiveness of a strong and united group. Congratulations and thank you gentlemen!

Just gone and already back; that is the impression that dominated this morning when the giant trimaran of 40 feet came to moor at the pontoon of the Marina du Chateau. On the morning of November 22nd, the Team Banque Populaire triggered the countdown by crossing the starting line of the Jules Verne Trophy between Ushant and Lizard Point. Aboard the big multihull, Loïck Peyron and thirteen crew members, including eight rookies from around the world, pointed the bows of the Trimaran to a unique challenge and attacked the reference time of 48 days seven hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds held since March 2010 by Franck Cammas and Groupama 3.

From the beginning, a northerly wind of 30 knots propelled the crew to Equator and plunged the men into the heart of the subject. After two days at sea, the multihull already had the Canary Islands behind her. After Doldrums express, the Maxi Banque Populaire V entered the southern hemisphere a week after her departure. With a great curve in the Atlantic, she improved the time of passage at the Cape of Good Hope, and made her entry into the Indian Ocean less than twelve days after kicking-off, reaching a lead of 2364 miles of advance, what would be the largest delta on the entire race. Once entering the South, ice became a paramount factor, imposing the crew to be very cautious with their machine. At midway, the Pacific inflicted harsh sailing conditions, with very strong winds, an extremely uncomfortable sea.

A month after departure, Loïck Peyron and his crew came up against a ridge implying a significant brake on their progress, witnessing their speed drop below 15 knots. On December 23rd at 7:50:30am, after a month of racing, the fourteen sailors crossed Cape Horn, the last of the three race Capes, allowing Ronan Lucas, Thierry Chabagny, Yvan Ravussin, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Kevin Escoffier, Xavier Revil and Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant to be promoted on their first race around the globe. As a Christmas present in the Atlantic, the Maxi Banque Populaire V began an express ride to the Equator, making the return into the Northern Hemisphere a formality. Getting back into the heat and winds, after a manly and agonizing confrontation with ice and cold, the crew spread their wings before the final sprint.

After a particularly stormy first night in the Northern Hemisphere, the multihull undertook a great ride of the Azores by the West, which was the ideal compromise between progress and boat’s preservation. After an Irish conclusion, Loïck Peyron and his crew stopped the watch last night at 23:14:53 (Paris Time), and signed a new reference time of 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds, improving the previous record by two days 18 hours one minute 59 seconds.

With this victory on time, the Team Banque Populaire signs a great human adventure, carried by fourteen sailors who have shared an unforgettable slice of their live during a month and a half.

Loïck Peyron, skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V: 'It is not only 45 days at sea that we have just done, but decades of work, and years of commitment from Banque Populaire into sailing. We must also pay tribute to Pascal Bidégorry who designed this boat, to Hubert Desjoyeaux who built her and sadly passed away recently, and to the whole team of course. We had this great opportunity to rest on each other. The confidence we had one in the other makes us paradoxically rested. Surprisingly, this race is not the most tiring. All records are made to be broken and this one will be one day. If there is a boat that can beat it, it is this one!'

Brian Thompson: There are many aspects which allowed us to get this record, the technology of the boat and her ability, the weather and above all the people! It really was a privilege to sail with them, and with Loick who is a lovely guy. He is focused and relaxed at the same time. He is looking after the boat and the crew, while keeping the goal in mind. It was interesting being the only English guy onboard on a French design boat made out of French expertise and with a French crew. It was a full immersion I would not have imagined to go that well.

I really enjoyed the way they push it to the extreme to go very fast but in a very safely manner. They have been working on the project for four years and they made some adjustments. It is the whole team who is winning the record today, including the technical team.

For me the best highlight was the atmosphere onboard. The friendliness, humor and optimism from the guys during 45 days was unexpectedly fantastic. This really implied in our today’s victory. I really feel it was a privilege to be sailing on this Jules Verne Trophy.

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