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North Atlantic battle belongs to Banque Populaire V

by Banque Populaire V media on 4 Aug 2009
Arrival of Maxi Banque Populaire V at Cape Lizard - Transatlantic record BPCE/ Benoit Stichelbaut

The North-Atlantic in 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds* for the Maxi-Trimaran Banque Populaire V. Pascal Bidegorry and his crewmen have made history.

They dreamt of it! They made it ! By passing Lizard Point a 16h 13m and 30s (French time) (14:13:30 TU)! Less than a year after the launch of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, Pascal Bidégorry and his crewmen just made history by setting an incredible new benchmark time on the Transatlantic record.

Alarming all the indicators, the world's biggest sailing trimaran has just covered 2 921 miles between New-York and Point-Lizard, in 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds, at the average speed of 32,94 knots. By improving the previous record of 12 hours 32 minutes and 6 seconds held by Franck Cammas in 2007, the twelve sailors of the maxi-trimaran commissioned by Banque Populaire hit their first record and reach the height of their expectancies. Today's victory on time and elements come as an award for the exemplary work carried out by the crew but also by the whole Team, totally committed in this challenge for months. Victory is wonderful and Pascal Bidegorry's tremendous emotion symbolizes it in its major strength: the group's perfect cohesion and the unfailing support of their partner, engaged in offshore sailing for more than twenty years. Well done misters sailors and thank you !

A month and a half after the beginning of their stand-by period, nearly reaching its end, the weather condition have finally smiled to our record hunters on Thursday morning last week. This opportunity was to improve the benchmark time set in July 2007: 4 days 3 hours 57 minutes and 54 seconds. On Thursday morning at 00:47:42 (French Time), Pascal Bidégorry and his crewmen departed full of hope and concentration, greeting Ambrose light off the coast of New York, departure point of an epic journey which was going to become part of history.

In the same inspiration, Franck Cammas left New York less than 3 hours before Banque Populaire's crew, at 22h 12m and 16 sec (French Time) to go on conquest of her own record. A contest between the two maxi mutlihulls and the previous record was then starting. In uncomfortable sailing conditions, mixing a choppy sea with a heavy fog surrounding Newfoundland, the Basque skipper and his crew got rapidly in the thick of things and managed to position the maxi trimaran in the record timings' references with the average speed hitting 36 knots.

Very quickly, milles were passing by and, without even envisaging it, the perspective of a new record was appearing. On board, the twelve sailors buckled down to fight against time. The Maxi Banque Populaire V then revealed her incredible capacity.

On one single tack between the New World and the Old Continent, nothing has counteracted the impressive advance and the ideal weather sequence above the Atlantic, not even a lighting wind towards the end.

On Saturday, Banque Populaire's team snapped up a first mark, a new 24 hour distance record, after having covered the impressive distance of 908 milles at an average speed of 37,8 knots.

Today, Pascal Bidégorry and his crew become part of legend and add their names on the list of the fastest sailors of the world. 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes and 48 seconds after departing from New York, here they are back in Europe, smashing the previous record by 12 hours 32 minutes and 06 seconds; an accomplishment still unimaginable not so long ago as Pascal Bidegorry confided just a few minutes after crossing the finish line between Lizard Point and Ouessant Island:

'I don't yet really realize what we have just accomplished. I could barely conceive we could go that fast in 24 hours, but this new record leaves me divided between an intense emotion and a great surprise. This victory comes to reward three years of intense work provided by the entire team, the shore crew, the design team, the architects and the whole team from Banque Populaire. I am extremely happy to offer them these two presents: the 24 hours distance record and the new reference time for the North-Atlantic. We were waiting for this first attempt with great envy and we knew it was essential for us, only few months away from the Jules Verne Trophy.

'I did not quite think we could cross that quickly. We did not ask ourselves wether we could go and get the 2007 record. We stayed focused on the weather, strategy and boat's progress, with the obsession of getting the most out of it. Maxi Banque Populaire V is an outstanding ship and we are extremely proud of sailing on this incredible boat.'

A year after her launch, Maxi Banque Populaire V's first record rewards a high-standard work provided by different teams, made of men and women who contributed in giving birth and magnifying this project. Pascal Bidegorry's first acknowledgements when crossing the finish line went for Banque Populaire, to its board of directors and to M. Pilippe Dupont. The architects' office VPLP, initiator of the sportive and performing lines of the Maxi Banque Populaire V and the team from CDK Technologies under the leadership of Hubert Desjoyeaux are also directly associated to this brilliant success-story.

Finally, Pascal Bidégorry and the entire team warmly congratulate Franck Cammas and the sailors on board of Groupama 3 for their superb Transatlantic crossing and for their sportsmanship during this North-Atlantic battle.

Last night, the Maxi Banque Populaire V entered the Rade de Brest and moored on the quay Jean-François la Pérouse in the castle's Marina. Faithful to its welcoming tradition and to its maritime history, the 'cité du Ponant' put everything in place to offer the twelve sailors a warm welcome which was equal to their accomplishments!

*Under reserve of validation from the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council)

Time to beat : 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes 48 seconds

The crew of the North-Athlantic record

Pascal Bidégorry - skipper, watch leader
Ronan Lucas – bowman
Kévin Escoffier – helmsman/trimmer
Yvan Ravussin - watch leader
Ewen Le Clech - bowman
Sébastien Audigane - watch leader
Florent Chastel - bowman
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant - helmsman/trimmer
Emmanuel Le Borgne - helmsman/trimmer
Marcel Van Triest - navigator
Pierre-Yves Moreau - trimmer/bowman
Xavier Revil - helmsman/trimmer

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