Brian Thompson tells of Banque Populaire V's retirement

Banque Populaire V on their Jules verne Trophy attempt
Brian Thompson is a crew member aboard the Maxi Trimiran Banque Populaire V, which was attempting to break Groupama's 'fully crewed' Jules Verne Trophy record.

Friday 5th February 2011 update
Day14.3 'Heading Home' 45S 01E

Brian Thompson:

As you might have heard by now, we have turned our bows away from Cape Horn, and back towards Lorient, the boat’s home port.

Pascal took the decision this morning after speaking to all the team yesterday to get their views, and of course the sponsors, has decided to try for the Jules Verne Trophy another time. With only half a daggerboard we were only remotely likely to get the record, performance wise but also there was the added risk of the repair not working at 40 knots of boatspeed, and the rudder in the central hull being more exposed..

Everyone on board realises that it was the only sensible option. We tried really hard to keep going after the accident, but some things are just not going to happen in the way that you want them to. The good thing about the Jules Verne Trophy is that it can happen when you want, its not like the Vendee that occurs once every 4 years. The team are already planning improvements, ready for the next try.

A 33 percent success ratio is the historical norm for this record, backed up by Groupama having 2 failed attempts before finally getting the record last year. It is par for the course.

It has been a real privilege to sail with this team, I have enjoyed every second, and now there is an equal distance to get home, so I am sure we will learn more in the next thousands of miles. Spirits are good, obviously its everyone's dream to get this record, but there will be another chance. The boat is fast and safe and the crew are excellent, It’s just a matter of time and energy and the goal will be achieved.

It's been great that so many of you have been following this adventure, and special thanks to all those who sent messages; they were much appreciated here.

I am going to continue to write some reports to keep everyone up to date. But thanks for watching so far!

Latest news is that work will continue into a second night on the daggerboard and we should be reinstalling it tomorrow morning, just as the wind increases. Our speed is limited to 13 knots at present to protect the now empty daggerboard case, but for the last 24 hours we have dreamed of doing 13 knots!

An albatross was circling the boat all afternoon in the rolling swell and light winds; what an incredible sight; wingtips just sliding over the swell with 10mm to spare. Going upwind with us without once flapping those long thin wings: What a goodbye from the south…

Brian Thompson Sailing website
Banque Populaire V website (in French)