Day 39, 31 December 2011: This is the last day of the year and the least we can say is that 2011 has wanted to leave a lasting memory on the fourteen sailors Maxi Banque Populaire V by confronting them with tough conditions.
Loick Peyron and his crew had a very turbulent first night in the Northern Hemisphere and are now waiting impatiently for the elements to calm down.
The maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V is now 1500 miles ahead of the reference time for the non-stop world circumnavigation and face a final choice between imposing weather caution and maintaining high performance,
Yesterday, Banque Populaire experienced exceptional sailing conditions, a flat sea and a fast ride into the New Year. This afternoon, the crew had up to 34 knots with a very short sea.
The boat speed fell a little to 27kts, but was still sailing at 80% of its polar (theoretical spped for the wind angle and strength).
But Loïck Peyron and his crew are not out of the woods yet. The final approach to the finish is subject to two key choices. The first one offers the option of a shorter route, but with much more difficult conditions for the boat. The second a longer route but less violent. It is expected that Banque Populaire will opt for the second option rather than ease a few more hours off the race record.
Reference times for the Jules Verne Trophy Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) - 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds to beat record to become the new record holder, the Maxi Banque Populaire V will be back by Monday 9 January 2012-17 hours 15 minutes and 34 seconds (Paris time).
Currently 1525.1 miles ahead of the reference time for the non-stop circumnavigation record.