Saturday, January 7, 2012

Jules Verne Trophy : French crew set round-the-world record

6 days out from the Canary islands on "Happy Cat" a Lagoon 421
(Mid Atlantic ARC2011) "buzzed" by the Trimaran "Banque Populaire V" at 30 Knots in the Atlantic
(same scene viewed from Banque Populaire)

From YachtPals

Big, Big, Big news!
The world's largest sailing trimaran has sailed around the planet to achieve the most sought after of ocean records - the Jules Verne Trophy.

BP V track in pink (former record Castorama in green)

Once again, history has been made, and once again the world record is back into the hands of the Peyron sailing dynasty.
Under the command of Loick Peyron (brother of Bruno, who made the same record in 1994, 2002, and 2005), and through the skill and determination of a very talented crew including Brian Thompson (who earned the record with Steve Fossett in 2004), Banque Populaire V has conquered the world, and sailed non-stop around the globe in a total time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds for a new world sailing record.

Banque Populaire V crew : Loïck Peyron, Brian Thompson, Juan Vila (navigator), Yvan Ravussin, Pierre Yves Moreau, Thierry Chabagny, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent, Ronan Lucas, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Kevin Escoffier, Xavier Revil, Florent Chastel, and Marcel Van Triest (onshore router).

Clearly, size does matter, as the world-record-holding boats are getting bigger and bigger.
The record had been set just 2 years ago by the massive Groupama 3, with a time of 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes.
However, big, bad Banque Populaire - a gargantuan boat by any standards - successfully trotted around the record antipodal route, and by her giant strides now stands atop the podium as the fastest globe-girdling boat mankind has ever produced.

When Banque Populaire V was launched, some speculated that it was too big - that her bulk would be her downfall, and that the enormous stresses would cause the gigantic craft to simply crumble in big seas.

Banque Populaire V Launched: 2008
Banque Populaire V Designers: Pascal Bidégorry, VPLP Banque Populaire V
Builder: CDK Technologies

Length of central hull: 40 meters (131 feet)
Length of float: 37 meters (121 feet)
Width: 23 meters (75 feet)
Displacement: 23 tons
Draft: 5.80 meters (19 feet)
Height: 47 meters (154 feet)
Mainsail: 450 m2 / Gennaker: 610 m2 / Solent: 270 m2

Last year's attempt by the massive multihull ended in calamity, as the boat struck a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object) at speed, which caused enough damage to a daggerboard (retractable fins that protrude from the bottom of the hulls) to scrub the attempt.

Now, however, there is no doubt: Bigger is better when it comes to ocean racing, and one would imagine that there are a number of designs being drawn up at this moment for would-be successors to Banque Populaire's new crown, many of which may dwarf even this incredible sailing ship.
We can only wait in anticipation to see which of the designs make it to the boatyard, and which of those may take a try at the record.

And what a record it is: What many people don't realize is that with the exception of flight, there is no faster way around the planet these days than by wind power.
There are faster power boats, and there are nuclear powered ships that don't require refueling for the journey, but there are none that have come close to achieving what today's sailboats can on a non-stop spin around the globe.
A century after the "death" of the age of sail, and here we are again with wind power ruling the seas.

Congratulations to the skipper and crew of the mighty Banque Populaire V, and to her designers and engineers as well.
You have advanced the sport and science of sailing, and have breathed new life into the old idea of harnessing the forces of nature rather than conquering them.

Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!
A special thought to Pascal Bidégorry the designer and former skipper of the boat at the origin of the project.

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