The fourteen sailors aboard the Maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V just entered history of offshore racing by becoming the fastest men around the globe with crew, after 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds of sailing*. Loïck Peyron and his crew improved the reference time of the Jules Verne Trophy held by Groupama 3 since March 2010 by 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds.
Historical record for Banque Populaire !
Departed on November 22nd at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT), after having crossed the imaginary line between Ushant (Finistère-France) and Lizard Point (southern tip of England), the Maxi Banque Populaire V crossed the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT) this Friday. She undertook this sailing around the world in 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds days at an average speed of 26.51 knots, covering a total distance of 29 002 miles.
Launched in August 2008 in Lorient (Morbihan-France),the giant trimaran holding the colours of Banque Populaire has also established several referenced time on various partials officially listed by the WSSRC for her first world tour:
Equator / Equator record in 32 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds
Indian Ocean crossing record (Cape Agulhas / South of Tasmania) in 8 days 7 hours 22 minutes and 15 seconds
Under the leadership of the skipper Loïck Peyron, Thierry Chabagny, Florent Chastel, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Kevin Escoffier, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Yvan Ravussin, Xavier Revil, Brian Thompson, Juan Vila and onshore router Marcel van Triest, are the new holders of the Jules Verne Trophy*.
Loïck Peyron, skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V : The feeling from the guys onboard : Emotion and Happiness ! We have filled a good part of the contract! We will now appreciate our victory between us and will return in Brest tomorrow morning to share this beautiful story with everyone. Our memories are full of wonderful images: the departure, icebergs, albatrosses, the Kerguelen Islands… When you sail around the world in 45 days, you see many things. The only one we did not get is Cape Horn but this frustration is quickly forgotten with the record we now have in hands. We are very proud !
Brian Thompson : “Everyone is really excited on board and we are looking forward to seeing everybody tomorrow morning. This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride. And that is because of the quality of the boat, of the preparation and most of all to the incredible crew on board. I am very fortunate to have sailed with Loïck, the best all round multihull sailor there is, and the rest of the team that are so talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French! It feels absolutely fantastic. At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop 4 times, is just amazing and feels very special”
JULES VERNE TROPHY
Start date and time : November 22nd 2011 at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT)
Arrival date and time at Ushant: January 6th 2012 at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT)
Distance: 29 002 miles
Average speed : 26.51 knots
New reference time on the Jules Verne Trophy* : 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds
Time difference with Groupama 3’s record in 2010: 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds
* Under the WSSRC approval (World Sailing Speed ??Record Council).
Loïck Peyron and his crew are expected at the Marina du Château, quai Jean-Francois La Perouse in Brest (France) at around 10:30am this Saturday, January 7th.
Since 12 :17 :30 (French time) this Friday, Loïck Peyron and his men are back in the Northern Hemisphere, 38 days 2 hours 45 minutes and 48 seconds * after leaving Ushant. With this outstanding performance, the Maxi Banque Populaire V not only writes a new distinction to his logbook, but also improves the partial Equator to Equator with a lead of 3 days 18 hours 24 minutes over Groupama 3 in 2010 but above all, faster than any other sailing boat on this race. A good sign for the fourteen sailors entering their final week at sea.
With this new partial shattered, the Maxi Banque Populaire V carries on falling records on her attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. 32 days 11 hours 51 minutes and 30 seconds * after entering the southern hemisphere, the fourteen record’s hunters shattered the time set in 2005 by Bruno Peyron aboard Orange II, improving it by more than one day. Still enjoying mild conditions, the crew of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, by the voice of his skipper, savors the moment of the crossing: “We crossed the equator at high speed. We are sailing at 35 knots, on a sea almost flat, it’s really fun ! The boat does not suffer, and men even less. Everyone is excited, especially the fresh Cape Horners. Hello northern hemisphere, that’s not bad at all this record! It will now be increasingly difficult to beat it but still feasible and that’s the good news …”. A natural enthusiasm shared by Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, helmsman / trimmer on board, who joined today’s radio vacation : “We are in the northern hemisphere for a few minutes and it already seems like being on our usual playground. It’s been thirty-two days since we left the Northern Hemisphere, which roughly accounts for three quarters of the time in the South and one quarter in the North. It brings us closer to home, which is good. The sailing conditions are beautiful, the sea is completely flat and it is almost straight on the road. There are very little squalls, the nights are quiet, starry … we really encounter exceptional conditions and we could not ask for more, including the boat. The weather conditions enable us to break the record but our anxiety is coming from the technique. We have sailed 20,000 miles without making any pit stop, we must keep the equipment in good shape.”
For Brian Thompson, this passage to the North was even more particular: “I was lucky enough to be on the helm doing 35 knots as we counted down 0.02S, 0.01S, 0.01N!! The 3rd small bottle of Champagne we have carried was opened, and some of the bubbly nectar is first given to Neptune, to thank him for a safe passage through the Southern Seas..Then comes the saucisson and the Toblerone, all being shared between the crew and that God of the Sea.”
24,063 miles already in the wake
This return in the North is not the finish line and on board, we specifically know that even after 24 063 miles undergone smoothly, nothing is settled yet. Vigilance is still more than ever a must, as the final conditions for the final stretch ahead appears nicely. With a lead of 1 432 miles and three days advance on Groupama 3 around the same time, a certain serenity sets in, especially as the inter-tropical convergence zone is seen as particularly friendly as recalled Thierry Duprey du Vorsent “The Doldrums are not very active, and thanks to our western position, it should be easy to get through. This will be one of the first times I pass them without a transition zone of dead calm on a single board. Again, we are lucky. We will have to get dressed again in two or three days and get the fleeces and foul weather gears out again. But we will accept it more easily as the finish line won’t be far !”
A fighter named Banque Populaire V
With an average of 26.31 knots since leaving Ushant on November 21st, Loïck Peyron and his men have significantly reduced the time and distance, leaving their fans admiring. Rarely a boat will have scrolled through that amount of miles and still demonstrating such reliability. Qualities that the skipper did not fail to mention this afternoon: “Last night, around 6pm, we were off the coast of Recife in Brazil while we were still off Cape Horn less than a week ago. The Maxi Banque Populaire V is a unique fighter on the planet. We should return to Brest in a week and oddly, it promises to be the most week-long of this round the world course.” But before seeing the end of this last week, the fourteen men still have to compose with the North Atlantic sea before entering the great history of offshore sailing.
* subject to approval and ratification by the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council)
Yvan Ravussin Chef de quart, responsable composite
Brian Thompson Barreur/ Régleur
Pierre Yves Moreau Régleur, Responsable mécanique et hydraulique
Thierry Chabagny N°1/ Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable accastillage et voiles
Frédéric Le Peutrec Chef de quart
Emmanuel Le Borgne Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable médical
Thierry Duprey Du Vorsent Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable mécanique
Ronan Lucas N°1/ Régleur, Responsable sécurité
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant Chef de Quart, responsable voile
Kevin Escoffier Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable vidéo et structure
Xavier Revil Barreur/ Régleur, Responsable avitaillement à bord
Florent Chastel N°1/ Régleur, Responsable médical
Marcel Van Triest Routeur à terre
Cliquez ici pour visionner la cartographie (mises à jour toutes les heures)
Reference time of the Jules Verne Trophy
Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) – 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Record to beat
To become the new record holder, the Maxi Banque Populaire V has to be back no later than Monday, January 9th 2012 at 16:15:34 GMT.
Lead / Delay at 4pm
1436.2 miles lead on the reference time
Sailing time since departure :
38 days 07 hours 47 minutes 26 seconds or 3 days 18 hours 24 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010.
Distance Ushant-Equator: crossed on the 28/11/2011 at 00:26:52 am, French time.
In 5d 14h 55mn 10s of navigation, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the fastest time on the distance from Ushant.
Distance Ouessant-Equateur : le 28/11/2011 à 00h 26mn 52 sec, heure française.
En 5j 14h 55mn 10s de navigation, Loïck Peyron et ses 13 équipiers réalisent le meilleur temps sur la distance depuis Ouessant.
Distance Ushant – Cape of Good Hope: crossed on the 4/12/20 at 07:20 am, French time.
In 11 days 21 hours 48 minutes and 18 seconds, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the fastest time over the distance established between Ushant and Cape of Good Hope, until then hold by Groupama 3 in 2008 in 13 days 06 hours 1 minute.
In 2010, Groupama took 14 days 13 hours 31 minutes and 43 seconds to reach the Cape of Good Hope, Banque Populaire V thus improves this time of 2 days 15 hours 43 minutes and 25 seconds.
Ushant – Cape Leeuwin: crossed on the 10/12/2011 at 9:29 am, French time.
In 17 days 23 hours 57 minutes and 18 seconds, Loïck Peyron and his 13 teammates realize the record for the distance established between Ushant and Cape Leeuwin, which was previously of 21 days 14 hours and 43 seconds in 2008 hold by Groupama on her first attempt.
In 2010, Groupama took 21 days 14 hours 21 minutes and 54 seconds to reach the Cape Leeuwin
Ushant – Cape Horn: crossed on the 23/12/2011 at 7:50:30, French time
The Maxi Banque Populaire V took 30 days, 22 hours, 18 minutes, 48 seconds since crossing the start line off Ushant to achieve this transition, a lead of more than one day on the reference time on the Jules Verne Trophy.
Pacific crossing time of the Maxi Banque Populaire V: 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes 15 seconds, or 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes 15 seconds longer than Orange II, who holds the record of this stretch in 8 days 18 hours 8 minutes.
It was 7:50:30am on 23rd December (Paris time), after 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes and 48 seconds at sea, when the Maxi Banque Populaire V crossed the southern tip of the Americas and with it the last of the three capes of the course of the Jules Verne Trophy: the famous Horn. By posting a time of 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes and 15 seconds on the Pacific, Loïck Peyron and his men leave to Bruno, the elder brother of the skipper, the absolute record for the distance. The close proximity of a return in the Atlantic and the prospect of accelerating prevail on any award for the fourteen sailors on board.
That’s it! After hectic days and conditions that did not leave any time for resting, the men of the Maxi trimaran were waiting for this famous and mythical Cape Horn as a reward. After the wind returned and the high pressure ridge yesterday, good news falls on board. However, the rookies won’t get the right to get their souvenir photo, the sea conditions being too rough close to the rock and a very strong wind implied an offshore passage for the giant multihull. The symbol was still there with half of the crew getting into the sought-after circle of Cape Horners. From the beginning, a month ago off Ushant, the interval time between Cape Leeuwin and the way out of the Pacific is the first one not to fall into the hands of Loïck Peyron and his crew, the crew of Orange II Bruno Peyron remain holders with 8 days 18 hours and 8 minutes, it is to say 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes and 15 seconds better. For the wink, we can note that on board, Florent Chastel* remains the fastest man crossing the Pacific. Otherwise, it is a troop leader in good shape that commented on the event of the day: “It was not possible to sail closer to Cape Horn, sea conditions are already not bad here we are, and are even stronger next to the Rock. The fresh applicants are granted Cape Horners and they are thrilled! Conditions now allow us to get going on a little bit more than what was possible a week ago or ten days, because today we have only one day in advance. ”
* Florent was indeed part of the Orange II crew.
A quick ascent towards Equator?
Get going, the word is out and back after being confronted with ice depression at first, followed by a ridge and the absence of wind in a second, having put aside any notion of performance. But on board, we know that there is still an ocean to cross before the Grail and no one would think to put aside the critical management of the machine. Their role is to look at the clock but above all to continue protect the boat as they have done so far. With winds recorded at up to 40 knots last night, the elements reminded them of the facts. Until tomorrow, the sailors will continue flirting with the border of the Pacific pursuing a road heading east, to South Georgia, waiting for the opportune time to jibe. Then will ring the deliverance bell back in the Atlantic and return to a north route to the Equator: “The wind will ease off all day today and reinforce tomorrow, North West of a depression centered on South Georgia. Once we will have gibed, we will be able to get to the North and warmer conditions. I might reach the Equator faster than I have ever done. It should be done in better times than Franck Cammas and his crew, and the all-time record held by Bruno, my brother. ”
Day of major changes
A potentially ideal scenario for the coming days, as Marcel van Triest, onshore router detailed at mid-day: “They will have a sea relatively tough and will have to make this detour by South Georgia. Tomorrow morning, they will jibe an head north. This will be the day of the big changes. For now, they should be very fast until Uruguay. Then there will be a transition off Brazil. They should reach the Equator in seven to eight days, which is a very decent time. In the end, it is not impossible to approach the 45 days … ”
The record in numbers
Record to beat :
To become the new record holder, the Maxi Banque Populaire V has to be back no later than Monday, January 9, 2012 at 5pm 15min and 34s (Paris time).
Reference time :
Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) - 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Cape Horn crossing time:
23rd December 2011 – 7pm 50 minutes 30 seconds
Average seabed speed since the start : 26.7 knots
Lead on the Cape Horn crossing record : 535 milles
Sailing time since the start: 30 days 22 hours 18 minutes 48 seconds or 1 day 6 hours 16 minutes less than Groupama 3 in 2010.
Pacific crossing Time: 10 days 15 hours 7 minutes 15 seconds or 1 day 20 hours 59 minutes 15 seconds longer than Orange II, which holds the record of this stretch in 8 days 18 hours 8 minutes.
Lead/delay at 4pm
552.1 milles on the record’s time
Less than a week after crossing the Cape of Good Hope and their entry into the Indian Ocean, the crew of the Maxi Banque Populaire V have crossed the Cape Leewin at 9:29am on Saturday 10th October, getting once again a new reference time between these two Capes. After 17 days 23 hours 57 minutes and 18 seconds at sea since leaving Ushant, here are Loïck Peyron and his crew off the coast of Australia, sailing on the Pacific, improving the time of Groupama 3 by 3 days 14 hours and 24 minutes and signing the best performance of all time …
With more than 3 days in advance from the referenced time of the Jules Verne Trophy, the fourteen sailors aboard the giant trimaran greeted respectfully Cape Leewin, the second imposed Cape after Good Hope and before Cape Horn. Recognizing the performance and obviously happy to see things going under the best possible conditions, Loïck Peyron appreciated this new act during an exceptional live video conference from the Paris Boat Show. “We are obviously very pleased with this new record and the time itself is significant. It’s like € 9.99 … everything is done under 17 days 23 hours and not quite 18 days or 11 days 21 hours and 48 minutes for Good Hope. These numbers are symbolic. But for now, conditions are not that favorable, the performance of this boat, however, is incredible! Yvan Ravussin was at the helm when crossing Cape Leewin, so it’s a Swiss record! ”
For Brian Thomson, this time to reach Cape Leewin is almost indecent : « I had daydreamed before the trip about getting to Oz in 20 days, and how incredible that would be, but less than 18, just amazing, I never even considered it possible..”
Far from dwelling on the day’s event, the skipper is already turned towards the future.
In this matter, the next few days will be tough. The Pacific Ocean in which the trimaran is now sailing won’t be that ‘pacific’. With a westerly wind gaining in intensity in a choppy sea, the boat is progressing between two different systems. On one side, a storm standing in front of them and on the other, an anticyclone which would impose a slowdown, a decision has to be made: performance and sailing ahead the clock was chosen. “We are done with the Indian Ocean and have crossed the border with a pretty cool storm. We will jibe before the end of the day and get into the storm and a very choppy sea. We have to follow that path, because otherwise we will face a no-wind area in the anticyclone. However it might become a bit busty… By letting it advance a little, we should have the sea in the right direction. For the moment, it is not really swell that we have but little waves which frequency does not allow us to accelerate. By heading south a little, we should encounter an easier sea but the next few days won’t be fun. We will theoretically go down and relatively not far from the Macquarie Island, south of New Zealand. The conditions will be tough enough for the next 48 hours, and appear to be the strongest we will have to face since departure. ”
Offshore Australia, the toughest part of the race since leaving Ushant on 21 November is about to be faced by Loïck Peyron and his men. But as Brian recalls : ‘To finish first, first you have to finish’ and we can be reassured that the crew will take good care of their mount !
It has barely been a week of racing and already good new shows up for Maxi Banque Populaire V. By crossing the equator at 00 hours 26 minutes and 52 seconds (Paris time) last night, after 5 days 14 hours 55 minutes and 10 seconds * at sea, Loïck Peyron and his men are now the fastest of all time on this section of the Jules Verne Trophy. A record that is a good omen for what is next, promising to be just as fluid on the approach of St. Helena.
So no hazing for sailors, for a first small victory that will have let expectantly Marcel van Triest and the weather unit for some time, as evoked by the shore router: “It was a bit tight for beat the record. We indeed do not break it with a lot of advance. It looked very feasible at the time of the Canaries and Cape Verde, but the doldrums we face were very active and long. Thus, if reaching the time of Groupama 3 in 2010 was more or less acquired, it was not the case for the record time.” Improved by half an hour, the new reference time between Ushant and Equator becomes the property of the Maxi Banque Populaire V.
Highway to Sainte-Helena?
On top of the celebration brought by this news, the following also looks enviable for the crew. The famous St. Helena anticyclone, a southern match of the Azores’, appears under the best conditions. Currently at 220 miles off the Brazilian coast in a South-East wind, the Maxi Banque Populaire V sailing conditions are relatively uncomfortable for men – the sea coming upfront the bow – but still allow the machine to display some satisfactory speed. In a few hours, the setting will change, to the delight of all, as explained this afternoon by Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant:
“The wind begins to rotate a bit. We’ll gradually go around the anticyclone. It’s going to become more comfortable and it will be easier to sleep. We are not sailing tailwind yet so we have the sea movements facing the boat which makes us wriggling in all directions. But we all know it won’t last, that it will get better by tomorrow. So we just bear with it. For now, the weather is wonderful. These are the trade winds in Brazil “. Marcel van Triest to add: “At that time, which is relatively early, the St. Helena anticyclone is quite south, although strong and big, but we have good circulation around it. We cannot cut cheese but we will have good conditions to do the trick. The wind will gradually turn around and become East, North / East getting near the anticyclone. We have no particular concerns. “
With the Equator behind them, Loïck Peyron and his crew should thus have an open road in front of them for the descent of the Atlantic. Going around the anticyclone of St. Helena should even appear of almost a formality. And about the transition to Good Hope, Team Banque Populaire’s router wanted to be particularly clear and optimistic: “I see us passing the Cape of Good Hope in the thirteen days for sure, maybe in the twelve and a half days … ”
Watching closely to weather forecasts for the past few days, Loïck Peyron and his men have decided to take advantage of the front that now stretches between Ireland and Portugal, taking a departure opportunity waited for the past month. By crossing the virtual start line between Ushant and the Lizard Point at 09h31min42s, the Maxi Banque Populaire V is undertaking the Jules Verne Trophy, for the second attempt of her history. “Light” for the warm-up, weather conditions should quickly gain in intensity in the Bay of Biscay, thus plunging the fourteen sailors directly at the heart of their oceanic subject. The stopwatch is on, along with a great adventure.
It was at 5.03pm, Monday 21st November, a month after mooring at the Port du Chateau in Brest, that Loïck Peyron and his men were finally able to give in to the urge to take off. In a relaxed atmosphere, illuminated by fourteen smiles, the Maxi Banque Populaire V has cast off with all the usual precautions in order to reach Ushant and to wait for a few hours, before setting off the timing of this famous Jules Verne Trophy. Ronan Lucas, director of Team Banque Populaire and bowman, summarized his satisfaction: “We have been waiting for this moment for long. We wanted it to happen earlier this year. We cannot wait to be in action rather than behind the computer trying to analyze if it goes or not! It is a relief. ”
“It is going to shake! »
At 09h31min42s this Tuesday, finding the optimal weather configuration over the Atlantic and in consultation with the strategic cell composed of Ronan Lucas and Juan Vila on board, and Marcel van Triest on shore, Loïck Peyron crossed the imaginary line between the Creac’h lighthouse situated on the Northwest tip of the Brittany island and Lizard Point, on the south west of Britain. The light conditions to get into the swing of this non-stop round the world won’t last for long and the menu should seriously get tougher for the sailors. Interviewed prior to departure, the Spanish navigator of Team Banque Populaire, detailed the situation announced over the Atlantic in the coming hours: «We have deeply analyzed weather files these days and everything seems to line up for now to reach the Equator and the Cape of Good Hope in good times. We should have standard conditions at Ushant, with about twenty knots, but it will it will quickly rise. Within four / five hours, we should reach thirty knots. If the weather files are accurate, we should have around forty knots in Cape Finisterre. It’s like every departure, we are looking for the wind and inevitably we will have to face waves and swell. It is going to shake. For the longer term, we are looking at the time at the Equator. For the moment it looks like five days and a half, hoping it stays that way, and if the files are confirmed in the coming days. After that, we look at a trend that could lead us to the Cape of Good Hope in thirteen days. ”
The game of compromise
Tough and wet, this entering should allow Loïck Peyron and his crew to negotiate the descent to the equator at first, then to South Africa, under these more than acceptable conditions. For his first appointment, out of his distinguished career, with the Jules Verne Trophy, the skipper likes the script and its pitfalls: “The weather conditions are favourable for now. The major trick will be to squeeze between the Azores High and Portugal and Morocco, to get as Western as possible to get a good angle with the low trade winds blowing now. The first matter is therefore the management of a strong wind to start with, followed by a light one after three days racing. Afterwards, it is the unknown and for the best! It’s a nice window, but it is never optimal, we must always compromise. What is interesting is that the time set by Franck Cammas and his crew does not have the best partial times. You can always try to improve all one after the other, which would be a good sign, but we can also be late for a while and catch up later. Banque Populaire V’s potential is greater than any other boat that has ever attempted the Jules Verne Trophy. It was designed for that. It already holds every offshore record on the planet. This is the only one missing! ”
Downwind, pushed by North / West stream, Maxi Banque Populaire V will then begin its journey around the world. Now stands a 21 760 miles challenge and a loop by the three Capes – Good Hope, Lizard and Horn. To write their names on the prestigious list of the Jules Verne Trophy and enter the offshore racing’s history, Loïck Peyron and his men will have to stop the WSSRC * timer before Monday, the 9th of January 2012 at 17h15min34. In the meantime, it is now time for sports and adventure and human performance.
*WSSRC : World Sailing Speed Record Council, organization that manages sailing records
The waiting is nearly over: the 44th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the great ocean challenges is just 2 weeks away. With a staggering 350 entrants at the ready, 1979’s record-breaking tally of 303 participating yachts will almost certainly be surpassed. The sheer size of the fleet is impressive. Its quality and diversity quite breathtaking. Inspiring and exhilarating in equal measure, there is every reason to believe that the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will maintain the event’s pioneering and prestigious tradition.
The numbers game
Due to the Rolex Fastnet’s unique allure, event organisers the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) never have any difficulty ensuring that there is a large and impressive fleet in attendance. This year is no exception. Entries came in thick and fast and were closed within ten days of opening in January. However, the requests kept arriving. After being inundated with additional enquiries from the Volvo Open 70s, the IMOCA 60s, Class 40s and Multihulls to join the 608-nautical mile marathon, the RORC adjusted the entry limit to allow these ‘professional’ classes to be counted above the initial cut-off mark.
The Rolex Fastnet Race commences from Cowes on Sunday 14 August (the first signal sounds at 10:50 BST). Whilst crews with the ambition of being the fastest to the finish will hope to spend only one or two nights at sea, spare a thought for those at the back of the pack, for whom a near week in often punishing conditions may be the order of the day.
Rambler 100 enjoying Leopard hunt
Short of a catastrophic breakdown, the fastest boat on the water at the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will be the 100-foot trimaran, Banque Populaire (FRA), which just broke the round the Britain Isles record by almost a day and a half. However, the battle for monohull line honours is the most anticipated clash and is expected to be the privilege of two other 100-ft challengers: Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard (GBR), first elapsed-time finisher in the past two editions, and arch-rivals George David’s Rambler 100 (USA). The two crews know each other extremely well, given their series of tussles in recent months. A head-to-head battle in the Transatlantic Race, which saw Rambler 100 ease to line honours after ICAP Leopard lost her bowsprit, the freshest encounter.
“Having won the Rolex Fastnet Race twice, the big play is to win three in a row, which would be quite exceptional,” explains Slade, whose yacht also holds the course record of 1 day, 20 hours and 18 minutes [set in 2007]. “During the RORC Caribbean 600, Rambler 100 proved to be the faster boat in her ideal conditions. However, Rambler 100 may also need to protect herself in bad weather, more than ICAP Leopard. We feel we have a good chance in light and heavy airs, it is the bit in between that we might have a problem! I am really looking forward to the Fastnet, it should be a very exciting race but above all else, I don’t want to lose our record to Rambler 100, that would be heartbreaking and we will vigorously defend it.”
Rambler 100 is as keen to renew hostilities. “We’re anticipating sailing in Cowes Week from 9-11 August and hope ICAP Leopard and others will be competing as well,” explains David, “we’ve had three races together already, the Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport and now the Transatlantic Race. Rambler 100 took line honours and corrected ahead of ICAP Leopard in all three.”
David is fervent about the upcoming Fastnet Race and describes his own personal highlights of the parcours: “Beating out through The Needles in a huge fleet, the beauty of the south coast of England, the approach to the [Fastnet] Rock, and the wind and weather conditions all over the place.”
Whilst these two ocean greyhounds are clear monohull line honours favourites, they may not have it all their own way. There is the significant presence of six Volvo 70s, including two of the latest breed: Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Groupama IV (FRA). Then there is the Mini Maxi class including defending Rolex Fastnet handicap winner, the 72-ft Rán (GBR), owned by Niklas Zennström, in addition to Andres Soriano’s Mills 68 Alegre (GBR), a fantastic campaigner in the Mediterranean in recent seasons. Throwing in the American challengers, the STP65 Vanquish, and the Reichel-Pugh 66 Zaraffa, who like ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 competed in the Transatlantic Race, it promises to be a tight contest at the top of the fleet.
Tales from the foreign third
Of the record breaking 350 yachts competing at this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, approximately a third are non-British crews. A scan of the 2011 entry list highlights the global pull of the event, with yachts competing from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE and the USA.
Karl Kwok, owner of the 80-ft Beau Geste (HKG), will be taking part in the event for the third time. “I am definitely here for the challenge as this is one of the most interesting and competitive offshore races in the world,” he explains. “My first time here was in 1995, followed by my second appearance in the last edition [in 2009]. We did well on that occasion, but it could be better still!” Kwok adores offshore racing: “For me the top three blue water offshore classics are the Fastnet, Sydney to Hobart and Newport to Bermuda – in that order. And Rolex has the top two!” Beau Geste will be another yacht snapping at the heels of the 100-footers and also arrive in Cowes fresh from competing in the Transatlantic Race.
One overseas crew in particular has reason to treasure its association with the Rolex Fastnet. Six years ago, Frenchman Jean Yves Chateau’s 33-ft Nicholson Iromiguy won the competition on corrected time, the first time in three decades that the overall prize had been won by a yacht under 40 feet. For the Saint Malo-based skipper, the victory was both a surprise and a fulfilment of an ambition: “To win the Rolex Fastnet Race was like a childhood dream, it is like an ‘Everest’ in my life and in the life of each member of my crew: absolutely fantastic, unbelievable, gorgeous, not to mention the incredible fact of having beaten all the big guys. It was also very important for me to be the third French sailor to win this race and to have my name engraved on this Cup close to Eric Tabarly [the legendary French skipper who won the race in 1967]!”
Regarding the ‘draw’ of the Rolex Fastnet, Chateau continues: “It is a mythical race. This year will be our seventh time and we are always very pleased and enthusiastic to participate with the crazy dream of winning it one more time.” Amongst the sizeable French contingent is the intriguing story of the IMOCA 60 DCNS 100 (FRA), sailed by skipper Marc Thiercelin and his famous apprentice, former downhill skier and endurance motorsport driver, Luc Alphand. DCNS 100 is one of seven IMOCA 60s, including Cheminées Poujoulat (SUI) launched in May this year.
John Towers is helming the J/122 Oojah (GBR) with a US-based crew joining British boat owner Peter Tanner, their navigator for the race. The English Channel is some distance from their usual racing haven of the east coast of the United States. “As a group of Americans, we consider the Rolex Fastnet Race to be a once in a lifetime adventure that is a natural compliment to our passion for distance racing,” explains Towers, “the Fastnet is a big deal for us and an adventure that we have been planning for the last two years.”
Tanner continues: “Our goal will be the same as any other race we enter. Priority one is a safe passage. Priority two is that the experience is very positive for all members of the crew. Our third priority is to be competitive.”
Triple TP52 challenge
The three TP52s competing at the Rolex Fastnet Race will resume their engagement having been near inseparable at the recent Giraglia Rolex Cup. On that occasion, Franck Noël’s Near Miss (SUI) finished the 243-nautical mile race less than two minutes ahead of Johnny Vincent’s Pace (GBR). Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky (USA) was only a further hour behind. On corrected time, only seven places separated the three crews, with Pace coming out on top. Over a considerably longer distance, this ‘race within a race’ will be one to follow come August.
Back of the pack
The crew of the Contessa-32 Drumbeat (GBR) will likely have one opportunity to admire ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100 – during the passage out of the Solent. For co-skippers and brothers-in-law, Mark Himsworth and Pierre Walrafen, the race ahead will be one of endurance and, at times, solitude: “It feels amazing to be one of the smallest and slowest boats competing, tacking or gybing down the Solent against much larger and faster machines after the start. All the while competing on handicap directly against them,” explains Himsworth, who will be taking part in the Rolex Fastnet for a third time.
The reality soon becomes quite different, as Himsworth reveals: “After 24 hours, most of the competition is long gone. Thereafter it’s occasionally difficult to keep your mind away from the thought of the faster boats turning towards (or arriving at) Plymouth while ours plugs steadily westwards round Land’s End. It’s a pretty solitary undertaking when you’re on watch and your co-skipper’s sleeping and none of your competitors are visible, but that’s all part of the attraction, and there’s still plenty going on in Plymouth when we arrive!”
The main trophy for overall victory in the Rolex Fastnet is the Fastnet Challenge Cup. In addition, there are more than 30 additional trophies that will be awarded at the prize giving on Friday, 19 August at the historic Royal Citadel, home of the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, overlooking Plymouth Sound and Sutton Harbour, where the majority of the fleet will berth.
Today at a press conference in Paris, Olivier Klein, CEO of the Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group, announced the appointment of Loïck Peyron as skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The native from La Baule, holder of 42 Atlantic crossings and 3 laps around the World, will therefore lead the largest ocean racing trimaran ever built on the next Bank’s attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. Within the Team Banque Populaire, led by Ronan Lucas, Loïck Peyron joins Jeanne Grégoire and Armel Le Cléac’h.
A performance goal
Owner of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, a Figaro Bénéteau and a 60-foot monohull, Official Partner of the French Sailing Federation, the French Sailing Olympic Team, of Eric Tabarly Association and of the CNOSF, Banque Populaire “is in full sail” and heads for 2012, reaffirming its performance objective. After having designated Armel Le Cléac’h to helm her new monohull for the next Vendée Globe, she has now entrusted Loick Peyron with the helm of her maxi multihull for the next record attempt round the world sailing crew non-stop and unassisted.
Loick Peyron, with impressive credits on all types of boats, is a multihull specialist who has developed numerous boats in this category. His experience with world tours and the G-Class is unquestionable. At the helm of the Maxi multihull Innovation Explorer, he ranked second in “The Race”, the first “no limits”
Loïck is a perfect ambassador of the Banque Populaire’s values. Enterprising, intelligent, audacious and always ready to face new challenges, he is also one of the most popular sportsmen in France for many years
Olivier Klein, CEO of the Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group has, during the press conference, stressed the consistency in the selection Loïck Peyron. “The Maxi Banque Populaire V is an illustration of the credo that animates every Banques Populaires: confidence in the willingness of men to reach their full potential through their projects and work, through their desire to excel, their personal commitment, as their team spirit. Every day in our regions, Banques Populaires accompany daring and enterprising people to make their desire to act a reality. This project also demonstrates the taste of the Bank for challenges. Loick Peyron, by his exceptional career and his appreciation of challenges seemed the perfect candidate to lead this ship so emblematic of our company. ”
Loick Peyron said he was “very pleased to be entrusted with such a great project within a high quality team. ” He also “thanked Banque Populaire, the historic sailing sponsor, for her confidence. ”
A new chapter in the sailing history of the Bank, a major player in the nautical world, has begun. It is now time for Loick Peyron and his crew to write the lines.
The beginning of the season will be dedicated to training, in the next few days off Lorient, home port of the largest multihull. Then, from June 17 to 21st, the Maxi Banque Populaire V and her team will take part in the Record SNSM and in the historic Fastnet race in August.
Then, the time will come to prepare for the Jules Verne Trophy which standby’s period is set for early November 2011.
About Banques Populaires
The Banque Populaire network consists of 18 regional Banques Populaires, of the
Credit Cooperative and of the Casden Banque Populaire. Independent, these banks exercise in all areas of commercial banking and insurance in a close relationship with their customers. Banque Populaire, with 7.8 million customers (including 3.8 million members) and 3,300 branches, is part of the second largest banking group in France: BPCE Group
Portrait and credits extract
Skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V
Born on December 1, 1959 in Nantes
Married, 4 children
Son of a sailing enthusiast, Loïck learned how to sail alongside his two brothers Stephen and Bruno at the Pouliguen, in the Loire-Atlantique region. In 1972 he was twelve years old when his uncle Jean-Yves Terlain took him to attend the launching of Vendredi-13, with which he will later participate in The Transat. Impressed, the man who is sometimes today referred to as “the Last of the Mohicans, “is, as a child, already dreaming of becoming a professional skipper. From that moment the young man devoted himself to speed on sea and becomes passionate, in a permanent quest for performance.
That is it; he will sail around oceans and undertakes his first transatlantic crossing at eighteen years old.
In the 1990s, at the helm of the trimaran Fujicolor, he won many races and no fewer than 4 titles of ORMA* Championship in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2002. Loïck Peyron has been consistently sailing, always multiplying experience on different boats. No sailing boat model escapes him and he has, over the years, built himself a formidable record in racing ocean. He has, in particular, won three times The Transat, (race alone), participated in three rounds the world, crossed 42 times
the Atlantic, including 15 times solo.
Loick also has qualities in communicating in an outstanding way, always eager to share his passion for sailing. Officer of the Legion of Honor, he is, beyond a harden sailor, a major advisor in the field of shipbuilding in line with big names like Eric Tabarly
An Exceptional carrer
• In 1985, he won the Race of Europe aboard “Lada Poch”.
• In 1985, he won a leg victory in La Solitaire du Figaro.
• In 1987, he won La Baule-Dakar aboard “Lada Poch 2″.
• In 1990, he finished second aboard “Lada Poch 3″, on the Vendee Globe Challenge although he had to divert to give assistance to Philippe Poupon who capsized.
• Between 1992 and 2005, 8 times winner of the Trophée Clairefontaine and 2 times twice of the Transat.
• Between 1993 and 1999, he won 13 victories and two second ranks out of 15 Grand Prix.
2000 to date …
• During the 2000-2001 edition of The Race, he finished 2nd aboard the maxi trimaran
Innovation Explorer and undertook this circumnavigation with crew in 64d 22h 32min38s
• In 2001, he won the Transat Jacques Vabre aboard the trimaran “Fujifilm”.
• In 2005, he won the Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean-Pierre Dick on the 60 foot monohull Virbac-Paprec.
• Between 2005 and 2007, he got 8 victories out of 9 races.
• From 2006, the Rothschild family appointed Loick Peyron as General Directora of Gitana Team. The team built a 60-foot monohull, “Gitana Eighty,” with which Loick Peyron won The Transat in 2008.
• A few months later, during the Vendee Globe, “Gitana Eighty” dismasted fifteen miles behind the leader, forcing Loïck to retire.
• Loick Peyron participated in the 2010 “Alinghi adventure “, alongside Ernesto Bertarelli, as co-helmsman in the the America’s Cup battle.
• On April 4, after 3 months at sea with Jean Pierre Dick, skipper of “Virbac Paprec 3″, he won the Barcelona World Race (dual race around the world by the 3 caps). The 21 and 22 January
2011, during the Barcelona World Race, Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick set a new 24h record on a 60 feet monohull covering the distance of 506.333 nautical miles.
* Ocean Racing Multihulls Association: Class of 60-foot trimarans
Excerpt from interview
Director General Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group.
New challenges and a commitment remaining strong
“We are very pleased to entrust Loick Peyron with the Maxi Banque Populaire V’s helm. He is a friendly sailor with an exceptional talent. I have no doubt that the Team Banque Populaire with Loïck will perform great things in this exciting adventure. ”
“The appointment of Loïck concludes a series of announcements confirming our willingness to engage in sailing in a performance quest along with a desire of proximity. Performance with our three skippers, Armel, Jeanne and Loïck within the Team Banque Populaire, proximity with all our actions and those of regional banks for the development of sailing in France. ”
Skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire V
“I am very pleased and honored by the confidence that Banque Populaire has in me. And also aware of the enormous burden and the high liability represented by the Jules Verne Trophy. It’s also great, a difficult challenge to overcome, but if there is something that I know how to do, is to adapt myself. For the human parts and the mechanical aspects, there is a great team around and everything seems well established. I now have to use this tools already created and manage them, it still remains a heavy load. ”
Maxi Banque Populaire V has got a high potential
“On the Maxi Banque Populaire V, everything seems to have been nicely done and from the outside, I had a good feeling about the boat’s potential. She has already proven it with the first nice records which are the North-Atlantic crossing, the 24h record and the Mediterranean, and has got everything to beat the Jules Trophy Verne. The almost entire program has been achieved, this boat holds, and for a long time, the most beautiful records. The Jules Verne only remains! We hope to have some chance on the weather as it is now what prevails on this record. One attitude of today’s records hunters is knowing that it can sometimes take several attempts ».
No reason to change the crew
“About the crew, it a priori turns out that there is no reason change anything, except for some downtime of some of them. Having the experience of the boat and of records is a benefit when getting into a team already in place ».
Director of the Team Banque Populaire
“We are very pleased to welcome Loïck in the Team. He benefits from an extensive experience, with whom we hope winning this great challenge that is the Jules Verne Trophy. We have often been competitors in the ORMA championship and have had great battles. He has an undeniable talent and incredible vista. I think it is one of the best sailor in France and even worldwide. ”
”In terms of the Team Banque Populaire, now that our fleet is in full force, we will go for synergies and skills of the Team, especially in the fields of electronics, composite, information technology, logistics and administration for the benefit of every Banque Populaire’s boats from the Figaro to the Maxi, including of course our new 60 ‘ monohull. The goal is to place the different sports teams and their respective skippers in the best conditions for everyone to achieve their goals. Achievements and
developments of a boat can be used for the entire fleet. ”
“In response to the fleet development and performance objectives, I am surrounded by the Team in place for 7 years that continues and has expanded this winter with a new technical director and referring during the Trophée Jules Verne, Pierre-Emmanuel Hérissé. “PE”, as we all call him, in charge of the technical coordination between the different projects, will also have an eye on the 60 ‘ monohull as it has a long experience of these boats. The Team’s added value lies in its experience over many years in the development and construction of high performance boats such as the trimaran 60 feet Banque Populaire IV and the Maxi Banque Populaire V. So today, we put our knowledge at the service of all our projects. Including that of our Research Department headed by Kevin Escoffier, who is currently working on the ballasts’s redistribution of the Monohull 60 ‘Banque Populaire, while ensuring the follow up on the Maxi’s repairs with Pierre-Yves Moreau, , « boat captain », for her next attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. ”
Extract from Loïck Peyron’s credits
- 42 Atlantic crossings, including 17 solo
- 3 around the world races
- 5 ORMA Champion titles
o Barcelona World Race: Winner on Virbac Paprec 3 with Jean-Pierre Dick
o SNSM Record: Winner aboard the monohull Gitana Eighty
o The Transat: Winner on Gitana Eighty
o Spi Ouest France: Winner on Domaine du Mont d’Arbois, an Open 7.50 of the Gitana Team
o Transat Ecover BtoB: Winner on the monohull Gitana Eighty
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 8th on Gitana Eighty with Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (transatlantic double)
o Lake Geneva Bol d’Or: Winner on Okalys (D35)
o Julius Baer Challenge: Winner on Okalys (D35)
o Lake Geneva Bol d’Or: Winner on Okalys (D35)
o Julius Baer Challenge: Winner on Okalys (D35)
o Transat Jacques Vabre: Winner, double as co-skipper on the monohull Virbac-Paprec of Jean-Pierre Dick
o Route des Iles : Winner with Dimitri Deruelle
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 2nd, double as co-skipper on Belgacom trimaran Jean-Luc Nélias
o Figaro: 6th
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd on the trimaran Fujifilm
o The Race: 2nd on the catamaran Innovation Explorer
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 1st on Fujicolor II with Franck Proffit
o Course de l’Europe: 1st on Fujicolor II
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Route du Rhum: 5th Fujicolor II
o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd on Fujicolor II
o Transat: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Transat Quebec-Saint Malo: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Grand Prix de Fecamp: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Grand Prix de Fecamp: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Grand Prix de Saint Nazaire: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Multihull Trophy: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Twostar: 2nd on Fujicolor II
o Multihull Trophy: Winner on Fujicolor II
o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd monohull on Fujicolor II
o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II