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Second world 24hour solo mark set in by Banque Populaire

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/NZ on 28 Jan 2014
Banque Populaire VII has now set two world solo 24hour marks Yvan Zedda / BPCE

After four days at sea, the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire Solo VII skippered by Armel Le Cléac'h is over 450 miles ahead of the reference time set by Francis Joyon in 2013 for the Discovery Route.

She has also set a second record mark for a singlehanded sailor in 24 hours - covering 682nm and eclipsing his previous mark of 677nm for an average speed of 28.41 knots average in a day. The marks have to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council.

Armel Le Cléac'h sailed in hard weather conditions over the Atlantic to shoot a great line into the Bahamas.

After his departure from Cadiz Thursday, January 23 at 20h he passed the island of Gran Canaria Saturday around 4am, before receiving a powerful trade wind East sometimes exceeding 35 knots.

At the mid point in the Discovery Route from Cadiz to Bahamas Banque Populaire is nearly 350 miles ahead of the record set in 2013 between Spain and the Bahamas (Discovery Route: 8d 16h 07 '05').

Armel Le Cléac'h: 'This Monday lunchtime is always moving very fast after a restless night with a lot of wind: the tradewinds is more sustained than expected with 28-30 knots! And even if there was grain, the trajectory is straight from the Canaries. This way, Banque Populaire now has two records over 24 hours, crew (908.2 miles or 37.84 knots) and solo this morning with 682,000 or 28.41 knots average ... It's nice to have been follow up the miles on the halfway of the Route Discovery. 'indicated Armel Le Cléac'h. Meteorological situation is rather favorable until Tuesday evening, when Banque Populaire VII approaches the 55 ° West, the trade winds will blow more moderate: the average speed is going to drop but still remain above 20 knots while a new jibe will be required to finish the journey to San Salvador. But the advantage of the current configuration is the fact that the Azores is quite stable, which will reduce the number of operations to be performed, a contrario Francis Joyon in 2013 who had to string together a fifteen gybes from Canary

' A 1000 miles from the finish, it should be slower than the first four days because the wind will ease the approach to the West Indies. I should have a jibe the next night because the trade winds will move to East sector today but it looks bad for not more because I do not have other maneuvers to the longitude of Cuba. I have not been too many changes in trajectory and it is on a big boat: three gybes before the Canaries, another in Gran Canaria. However, I had to change headsail reefing and I'm not too tired, but it's a little nervously harder! I blame a little physically because you have to be on deck but with the wind weakens, it will allow me to recharge the batteries ... '

(Translated and re-written from French media statement with Google assistance - apologies for any errors.)
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