Barely a month after leaving Ushant, France, the massive, 130-foot French trimaran Banque Populaire V is already back home, having circled the globe in a mere 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes and 53 seconds—a new record.
Skipper Loick Peyron and his crew of 13—which included British offshore veteran Brian Thompson—crossed the starting line between Ushant and Lizard Point on November 22 and averaged 26.51knots on their 29,000-mile voyage.
By beating the previous record of just over 48 days, which was set by Franck Cammas and crew aboard the maxi-tri Groupama 3 in 2009, Peyron and company are now the holders of the Jules Verne trophy.
The Jules Verne Trophy was established in the early 1990s with an eye toward encouraging sailors to try to beat 80 days around the world. Bruno Peyron was the first to win the trophy by circumnavigating aboard the catamaran Explorer in 1993 in a time of 79 days, 6 hours and 15 minutes.
Although Peyron and company made it look easy—early on they were more than 2,000 miles ahead of the record pace set by Groupama 3—the record comes as the culmination of years or effort.
In fact, this was Banque Populaire V’s second try in as many years. In early 2011, with designer Pascal Bidegorry in command, the boat, which was built in 2008, had to give up after its centerboard was damaged in a collision with an unknown submerged object off the coast of Africa.
“It is not only 45 days at sea that we have just done, but decades of work, and years of commitment,” said Peyron, shortly after crossing the finish line on January 7.
“There are many aspects which allowed us to get this record,” said Thompson, “the technology of the boat and her abilit the weather and above all the people! It really was a privilege to sail with them. It was interesting being the only English guy onboard on a French-designed boat with a French crew….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 more on the record, click here.