Spindrift Racing Maxi Trimaran (Photo © Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing )

On 6 November 2017 Spindrift racing, the France-based sailing team will be starting the standby period for its second attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, the iconic non-stop round the world record.

Spindrift’s skipper, Yann Guichard (FRA), has carefully selected a crew of eleven sailors who bring with them a depth of sailing experience from the worlds of Figaro, Olympics and racing multihulls.  His crew include seven who formed part of the first attempt on the record, with the other five bringing multiple complementary skills to the team.

The current Jules Verne Trophy record, set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter, stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, and Spindrift has spent much of the past two years optimising its 40-metre maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, in Brittany to take on this new challenge.

Joining the team are Thierry Chabagny (FRA) just returned from a Solitaire and a Fastnet in the Figaro, Ewen Le Clech (FRA), who rejoins the trimaran having worked on updating it with Pascal Bidégorry in 2010.  Britain’s Sam Goodchild joined Yann Guichard on the match-race circuit this season, having spent two years racing offshore trimarans.  Also joining is Thomas Le Breton (FRA), a former member of the French Olympic team in the Laser and then the Finn, who has recently returned from Bermuda where he was a tactician for the French challenge in the America’s Cup. Finally, completing this group are Tanguy Cariou, ex-member of the French Olympic team and crew in D35, who will be on the first part of the stand-by, and then Erwan Le Roux (part of the Spindrift 2 crew for the Transat Québec-Saint Malo) will take over from November 26, 2017, when he returns from the Transat Jacques Vabre.This five-man squad will join Yann Guichard and six crew from the 2015 attempt. These are sailors that Guichard knows well: Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon and François Morvan have all run Olympic campaigns together.  Antoine Carraz or Jacques Guichard have been part of the Spindrift team since its inception, and Erwan Israel is back onboard again as navigator.

Nine records in 24 years: 
Yann Guichard is in no doubt of the incredibly tough challenge that lies ahead and has appointed Jean-Yves Bernot to be the onshore weather router for this attempt.
The original record set by Commodore Explorer was for 79 days 6 hours and 16 minutes, in the intervening 24 years the record has been almost halved and after iDec Sport’s successful challenge last winter, now stands at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes.

2017 Jules Verne Trophy Crew: 
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Erwan Israël (navigator)
Jacques Guichard (watch captain/helm/timmer)
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow)
Xavier Revil (watch captain /helm /trimmer)
François Morvan (helm / trimmer)
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer)
Thierry Chabagny (helm /bow)
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer)
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow)
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer)
Tanguy Cariou  (helm / trimmer) / Erwan Le Roux  (helm / trimmer)

 

Jules Verne Trophy ceremony for record holder maxi trimaran IDEC Sport and her crew, skipper Francis Joyon, Bernard Stamm, Gwenole Gahinet, Clement Surtel, Sebastien Audigane (missing) and Alex Pella, with weatherman Marcel Van Triest and Patrice Lafargue (IDEC Pdt) at the Marine Museum in Paris, on April 27th, 2017 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Yesterday evening, Francis Joyon and the crew of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet, with just Sébastien Audigane missing as he was busy on a delivery trip in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, received the Jules Verne Trophy, the amazing sculpture which seems to float in the air created by the American Thomas Shannon, in the very prestigious Naval Museum (Musée de la Marine) in Paris. More than 300 guests came together around Patrice Lafargue, President of the IDEC Group, and the two patrons of honour who support Joyon’s multihulls, Professor Gérard Saillant, President of the ICM and Jean Todt, President of the FIA. The title was handed over by the previous record-holders represented by Pierre Yves Moreau from the Banque Populaire team, who was joined for the event by the legendary British sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who held the trophy with the late Peter Blake in 1994 (Enza New Zealand). It was a highly emotional evening, which brought together these exceptional sailors who have been sailing again in their own projects since their triumphant return to Brest after 40 days and 23 hours on 26th January.

I am proud of this crew and what they achieved,” declared Patrice Lafargue, who yesterday evening once again showed the same affection and admiration he spontaneously showed on the return to Brest last January of the maxi-trimaran, which displays the colours of the IDEC Group. Once again showing their contrasting characters, while remaining humble and expressing their joy of sailing, Francis, Clément, Alex, Bernard and Gwéno relived some of their memories of their amazing 40 day, 23 hour and 30 minute long voyage around the world during the evening in Paris. Titouan Lamazou was extremely pleased to see that the idea he launched 25 years ago with Florence Arthaud continues to offer an incredible experience as shown in the tales told by the IDEC SPORT crew, which sailed 26,412 miles averaging 26.85 knots on the theoretical route. “There have been 23 attempts in the 24 years,” he explained, “with nine successful campaigns. It is fantastic that, sailors and the designers of these boats are continuing to carry out attempts at this ultimate dream voyage around the world.”

Never really at ease hen the spotlight is on him, Francis Joyon admits he has not really been looking back. “I can remember some magical moments, which I shared with an exceptional crew. But I am already busy with new challenges, other races, more special moments with this crew in the summer with The Bridge, a race reserve for the Ultime boats between St. Nazaire and New York…

QUOTES
Gwénolé Gahinet

“I’m still finding it hard to come to terms with what we achieved. The finish and the leap back to reality were a shock to the system. I think our success is down to Francis, who knew how to train and unite a very coherent team. In the Southern Ocean, it’s as if Francis was at home and the way he deals with the stress is amazing. I will always remember the moments on the long surf, those long days at full speed in a dense mist and the permanent tension. Rounding the Horn was highly emotional to, as that is when we felt like we could pull it off…”

Bernard Stamm

“I very quickly got back to the Diam 24 circuit, but I feel I’m still recovering from this experience. This was an exceptional voyage around the world from every angle. The success came thanks to Francis. I’m still amazed by this boat, which always feels so safe… We thought we had a change as we raced across the Pacific, but the key part was in the Indian. After that, we kept things under control. Sailing around the world twice in two years creates some very strong friendships.”

Francis Joyon

“I don’t dwell on this adventure, as I am looking ahead. This award ceremony is an opportunity to look back and to catch up with those involved. We’re very proud to add our names to the list that includes sailors like Robin Knox-Johnston, Peter Blake and Bruno Peyron. I’m very pleased to receive this trophy from Sir Robin.”

Alex Pella

“I’m still finding it hard to believe we did it. I keep thinking of the great times and have forgotten the bad moments. Getting this Trophy with this great crew in a prestigious location like the Naval Museum makes me very proud. This is an incredible record, but I too am now looking ahead, to see what can be done to beat our record. I’d like to thank Francis for inviting me along in this great adventure…”

Clément Surtel

“We have got back to life ashore after our three attempts and our two Jules Verne Trophy races. I still can’t believe it. During the evening, we better understood what we achieved with so few means and with our small team. The next transatlantic race, The Bridge 2017, will enable us to sail together again.”

The nine successful Jules Verne attempts

FRANCIS JOYON / IDEC-SPORT 2017
40 DAYS 23H | 30MINS | 30S

LOÏCK PEYRON / BANQUE POPULAIRE V
45 DAYS 13H | 42MINS | 53S 2012

FRANCK CAMMAS / GROUPAMA 3
48 DAYS 7H | 44MINS | 52S 2010

BRUNO PEYRON / ORANGE II
50 DAYS 16H | 20MINS | 4S 2005

OLIVIER DE KERSAUSON / GERONIMO
63 DAYS 13H | 59MINS | 46S 2004

BRUNO PEYRON / ORANGE
64 DAYS 8H | 37MINS | 24S 2002

OLIVIER DE KERSAUSON / SPORT-ELEC
71 DAYS 14H | 22MINS | 8S 1997

PETER BLAKE & ROBIN KNOX-JOHNSTON / ENZA NEW ZEALAND
74 DAYS 22H | 17MINS | 22S 1994

BRUNO PEYRON / COMMODORE EXPLORER
79 DAYS 6H | 15MINS | 56S 1993

 © JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC SPORT

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

The World Speed Sailing Record Council has ratified three intermediate records set by IDEC SPORT

After ratifying the extraordinary performance of the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT sailed by Francis Joyon, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Clément Surtel, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane around the world, the World Speed Sailing Record Council, the international body, which certifies major sailing records, has just officially recorded three new intermediate records achieved along the way.
Indian Ocean record between Cape Agulhas and Tasmania, which already belonged to Francis Joyon and his men, was shattered by more than a day between 29th December 2016 and 4th January. It now stands at 5 days, 21 hours, 7 minutes and 45 seconds.

IDEC SPORT also slashed almost a day off the South Pacific record set by Bruno Peyron and the maxi catamaran, Orange in 2005 (8 days, 18 hours and 8 minutes). Joyon and his crew took just 7 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes and 31 seconds to sail the distance between Tasmania and Cape Horn.
Finally, the intermediate reference time between the Equator on the way down and the Equator on the way back now stands at 29 days, 9 hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds, replacing the time set by Loïck Peyron aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V of 32 days, 11 hours and 52 minutes.
As a reminder, the time of 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds is now the outright round the world record from Ushant to Ushant via the three major capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn, referred to as the Jules Verne Trophy record.
The WSSRC has recorded the following reference times:
Dates: from 16th December 2016, start at 0819hrs UTC, to 26th January 2017 at 07:49:30 UTC.
The international body recorded an average speed of 21.96 knots over the theoretical distance of 21,600 miles.
Francis Joyon and his men actually sailed 26,412 miles out on the water, at an average speed of 26.85 knots.
They shattered the previous record held by Loïck Peyron and the crew of the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V by four days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.
 Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 - Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Training for the maxi tri IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, and his crew, prior to their circumnavigation crew record attempt for Trophy Jules Verne, off Belle Ile, on october 12, 2016 – Photo Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

The Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT sailed by Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane won the Jules Verne Trophy, the outright round the world sailing record, this morning.

They crossed the finish at 0749hrs UTC on Thursday 26th January 2017.
Francis Joyon and his crew sailed the 22,461 theoretical miles in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 22.84 knots.
Out on the water, they actually sailed 26,412 miles at an average speed of 26.85 knots.
They shattered the previous record set by Loïck Peyron and the crew of the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V by 4 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.
During this round the world voyage, they smashed no fewer than six intermediate records at Cape Leeuwin, off Tasmania, on the International Date Line, at Cape Horn, at the Equator and off Ushant.
IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran christening, prior to Their circumnavigation record Attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 14, 2015 - From left to right: skipper Francis Joyon, Roland Jourdain, Clement Surtel , Gwenole Gahinet Boris Herrmann, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella (Photo by Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC )

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran christening, prior to Their circumnavigation record Attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 14, 2015 – From left to right: skipper Francis Joyon, Roland Jourdain, Clement Surtel , Gwenole Gahinet Boris Herrmann, Bernard Stamm, Alex Pella (Photo by Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC )

 

IDEC SPORT, the new maxi-trimaran, Francis Joyon, was baptized on Wednesday October 14 at La Trinité-sur-mer. The stand-by to try and beat the record for the Jules Verne Trophy starts in two weeks. Joyon took the opportunity to present its crew of five sailors, an onshore router, and an alternate. A very European commando mix of experience and youth was announced as well.  

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran christening with champagne by skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 14, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC - Patrice Lafargue (Pdt IDEC) and Professor Gerard Saillant

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran christening with champagne by skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 14, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC – Patrice Lafargue (Pdt IDEC) and Professor Gerard Saillant


A story of men …
After a month at the Multiplast yard in Vannes, IDEC SPORT was baptized on Wednesday on the pontoons from its home port: La Trinite-sur-Mer. It was Professor Gérard Saillant, co-founder of the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord of (ICM), which is the sponsor of this new ride aboard which Francis Joyon and his men will leave in a few weeks at Conquest of the Planet. One goal: try to go round the world sailing in less than 45 days, which amounts to almost halve the clock imagined by Jules Verne for his hero Phileas Fogg …

Who are these men to whom Francis Joyon trusted?  Great sailors, half French, strangers to each other. A very international crew that combines experience and youth. “I only took the skippers,” said Francis to explain that the vessels need to know everything. All will be entrusted with the helm of the largest trimaran. “Unlike most teams provided where there are many specialized marine in one area, we will go with super-versatile aboard IDEC SPORT”. And for good reason: six on board is very little. Only the first winner of the Jules Verne Trophy, Bruno Peyron, had dared to start at five, that was in 1993. Since then, the crew on this record is always between 10 and 14 Marine … it will be necessarily a great human story that will write Francis Joyon and his men around the world this winter. These are men, three French, a Swiss, a Spaniard and a German.

Bernard Stamm Portrait crew member of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm (SUI) 51

No introduction of this specialist round the world, the only one of IDEC SPORT commando having already won the Jules Verne Trophy (in 2005 aboard the maxi-catamaran Orange 2). Bernard also won a whopping three round the world monohull Twice Around Alone solo and once the Barcelona World Race twice. He also participated three times in the Vendée Globe. This hard hyper talented evil brings its wealth of experience forged over 30 years on all the world’s oceans. Bernard Stamm: “Things have changed since my participation in the Jules Verne Trophy in 2005. The boats are different, the record is harder to take as well. But the principle is always the same: turn as fast as possible around the planet. I think the record is prenable, otherwise I would not be here! ”

 

 

 

 

Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA) 31

The youngest of the team is the son of a legend in ocean racing, alas disappeared: his father Gilles was one of the few to have beaten Eric Tabarly on Transat and have twice won the Solitaire du Figaro. It is also Figaro that “gweno” made a very grand entrance in recent years, winning great results after a first victory on the Mini Transat. Naval architecture engineer, the good head has worked in VPLP, the firm that designed IDEC SPORT. This is his first world tour. Youth, technical knowledge and talent are in his luggage. Gwénolé Gahinet: “I have a lot Orma trimaran sailed and Multi 50 but I still have much to learn about these great multihulls. I open eyes, I record everything. I am very motivated to discover the South Seas is a whole universe that makes you want to be discovered. ”

 

Alex Pella portrait, crew member of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella (ESP) 42

Born in Barcelona, ​​this dynamic Catalan was first excellent technical preparer giant multihulls – including The Race-before embarking on a remarkable career via the Mini 6.50 (2nd of the Transat), the Class40 (winner Route du Rhum) and everything that floats next big boats, on one or more shells. Fourth in the Barcelona World Race in 2011, he also sailed a lot in multihulls and knows the seas of the Great South. He knows everything. Alex Pella: “I did not hesitate a second when Francis contacted me for the Jules Verne Trophy. This is a great adventure, especially in this configuration with a small crew and boat prowled. This will be my second trip around the world and it will be two times faster than IMOCA 60. ”

 

Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clément Surtel (FRA) 36

Nephew of another great sailor – Franck Yves Escoffier– but especially passionate about multihulls, Clement has a huge experience of major general and trimarans IDEC SPORT in particular. He was preparer when it sailed into the hands of Franck Cammas. Besides multiple crews sailing in large (several records with Orange 2 of the Atlantic and including 24 hours), Clement has already participated in two onshore Jules Verne Trophy in 2005 and 2010. This time he sailed! He is very familiar with the boat and its skipper qualities addition, it will be a great help in all technical aspects. Clément Surtel: “I have spent years navigating these great multihulls and that’s it, I’ll have the chance to make my first world tour and getting into the deep end of the South Seas! IDEC is a beautiful SPORT Trusted platform that has been prepared to complete the course in less than 45 days. On board, we will be at the bottom, we’re off to a great transatlantic! ”

 

xxxx portrait, crew member of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Boris Herrmann (GER) 34

Two world tours and three passages of Cape Horn: Boris Herrmann knows the great wide! It also comes to force the passage Northeast aboard the old IDEC now in the hands of the Chinese Guo Chuan browser. In 2009, he became the first German to win a round the world sailing: the Global Ocean Race. He too is a jack-of-all engineering, all small monohulls to multihulls giants, with great experience of hostility from the southern seas. It is German but it is a “Swiss Army knife” super versatile. Boris Herrmann: “For my third trip around the world, I am delighted to embark on this boat with which I have already sailed this year. Our motivation is very clear: we go to break the record! The next adventure is a plus, premium competition. ”

 

Roland Jourdain (FRA) 51 (replacing)

Great teams always have a luxury joker on the bench. Just in case … here “Bilou”, which will leave if by chance one of the five crew members was stopped in extremis. As Francis Joyon and Bernard Stamm, he is among those who needs no introduction. Heroes of the Vendée Globe, Le Figaro, the Route du Rhum and large multihulls, his enormous experience reassures everyone. Roland Jourdain: “I love being on the water and go further: the Jules Verne Trophy is a challenge that attracts me. I sailed a lot in multi this year. I will be very hot if Francis needs me. And if not, I will endure the guys from Earth. ”

Onshore router Marcel Van Triest (HOLL), 51

Since his den Balearic front of their computers day and night, Marcel Van Triest will be the IDEC SPORT weather guide. The “Flying Dutchman” is one of the best routers in the world. It’s also a great sailor, who has already done five times round the world race! His small annotated drawings will be scrutinized by Francis Joyon several times a day. It will at once try to beat his own record (Banque Populaire in 45 days and a half, it was him) and try to beat his colleague and friend Jean-Yves Bernot will be the Spindrift router 2, the competitor of IDEC SPORT on the Jules Verne Trophy. His extensive knowledge of ice in the south will also be a valuable asset.

Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport, prior to Their Attempt circumnavigation record, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, was october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon (FRA), 59: the boss

One sailor in the world to have held together the four largest ocean records alone (World Tour, Atlantic, 24 hours, Discovery Route), Francis Joyon thus passes crewed mode for this attempt, on a boat which he had long dreamed. After receiving dozens of candidates, he chose his crew on two main criteria: versatility and motivation. Francis Joyon: “We will go in a spirit of commando. Team members must invest a lot and spend a lot of time on the deck. They know it all and that is precisely what attracts them in this challenge. ”

 

Banque Populaire V On Standby (Photo by BPCE/Benoit Stichelbaut)

Banque Populaire V (Photo by BPCE/Benoit Stichelbaut)

After more than two months of standby for Trophée Jules Verne attempt.  Today at 1200 the multihull Max Banque Populaire V and her crew went to code orange.  A departure for the record is likely in the next 48 to 72 hours.

Pascal Bidégorry: “it is possible that we have an opportunity to leave Friday in the day, but the situation is quite unstable.” This is several days that we look carefully at this possible window, but it does not move much, we monitor so very closely and we will see much if things are moving in our favour. There are other opportunities next week, we are therefore very vigilant. What is most likely it is that things indicate that at the last moment. ”

Marcel van Triest, router of Banque Populaire V Max returns him also to this code change and weather window that profile: “today we decided to switch to code orange because there are certainly a weather window, but that we are not safe to enter both uncertain is.” If it evolves, it might be a good opportunity to try this Jules Verne trophy record. What may be complicated with weather analysis, is that this is only a matter of probability and visibilities are sometimes very limited. Today, I am more visibility into the South Atlantic in a week than on Brest on Friday. Thus we expect to see if this is accurate. “We shall, I hope a better idea by tonight or tomorrow.”

The team which has been held on standby, are carefully assessing all opportunities.

Pascal Bidegorry Skipper of Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V (Photo by B. Stichelbaut / BPCE)

Pascal Bidegorry Skipper of Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V (Photo by B. Stichelbaut / BPCE)

The names of the winners of the 2009 Ocean Records World Championship are now known. In the crewed category, Pascal Bidégorry is the new champion thanks to his great achievement this summer with the crew of the Banque Populaire V trimaran in the Atlantic. In the single-handed category, after Francis Joyon in 2008, it is now Thomas Coville, who deservedly takes this award after completing a round the world voyage in 59 days.

Thomas Coille, Skipper of Sodebo Transatlantic Record (Photo by Daniel Forster / DPPI)

Thomas Coille, Skipper of Sodebo Transatlantic Record (Photo by Daniel Forster / DPPI)

The Ocean Records World Championship, which brings together all the major historic sailing records – over twenty routes in all – has delivered its verdict for 2009.  In the final rankings based on each record being given a coefficient of one to ten according to its length and difficulty, the big winners in 2009 are Pascal Bidégorry in the crewed category and Thomas Coville for the single-handed sailors.

The North Atlantic and 24 hour record smashed
Pascal Bidégorry and his men have won the title of world champions thanks to the records set by the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V in the Atlantic.  To remind you of their incredible feat, they crossed the ocean averaging 32.94 knots with a time of 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds… They also smashed the 24-hour record and in so doing went through two symbolic barriers: the 800-mile and then the 900-mile barrier … In fact the giant trimaran Banque Populaire V sailed 908 miles  in just one day.

North Atlantic Record Holder Banque Populaire V, Skippered by Pascal Bidegorry (Photo by B. Stichelbaut / BPCE)

North Atlantic Record Holder Banque Populaire V, Skippered by Pascal Bidegorry (Photo by B. Stichelbaut / BPCE)

Looking at the solo sailors, after Francis Joyon in 2008 and his 57-day round the world record, it is Thomas Coville, who takes the title of 2009 World Champion, thanks to his non-stop single-handed round the world voyage completed in a time of 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds, the second best time ever.  Thomas Coville did not manage to better Francis Joyon’s record, but achieved a remarkable performance, for which he has quite naturally been rewarded with this title of 2009 World Champion.  We can note that this is the second time Thomas Coville has won this title as he was already proclaimed world champion for the first time back in 2006.

The reactions of the champions:

Pascal Bidégorry:
“Receiving this title of World Champion during the first year of sailing this boat is obviously a great pleasure. It is an honour for all those, who sail on the maxi Banque Populaire V… and I hope it won’t be the last! I hope too that there will be more and more of us battling it out in this championship in the coming years.  It’s great that such rankings exist.  We’ll see about next year, but if we get it thanks to the Jules Verne Trophy, I won’t be complaining!”
Thomas Coville:
“Even if I always put this sort of honour into perspective – my real goal is to make another attempt at the single-handed round the world record next year- it’s really nice to be recognised in this way.  The points system means that attempts are honoured. When a pole-vaulter jumps, we always expect him to beat Bubka’s world record and he tends to be forgotten if he doesn’t do that, even if he achieves the best performance of the year… »

Sodebo Thomas Coville (Photo by Jean Marie Liot / DPPI)

Sodebo Thomas Coville (Photo by Jean Marie Liot / DPPI)

Reminder of the winners since the Ocean Records World Championship was set up:

Crewed:

2008 : Lionel Lemonchois
2007 : Franck Cammas
2006 : Bruno Peyron
2005 : Bruno Peyron
2004 : Steve Fossett

Single-handed:

2008 : Francis Joyon
2007 : Francis Joyon
2006 : Thomas Coville
2005 : Ellen MacArthur
2004 : Francis Joyon

Groupama 3 (Photo by George Bekris)

Groupama 3 (Photo by George Bekris)

Today, at the Race HQ for the Jules Verne Trophy in Paris, Frédérique Granado, Director of external communications at Groupama and Franck Cammas, skipper of the maxi trimaran, presented the crew who will be setting off on their latest adventure from 1st November onwards. Their mission is to break the round the world record under sail, held since 2005 by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 with a time of 50 days and 16 hours… 

Tanned, cheerful and smiling broadly, the crew aboard Groupama 3 are keen to get going and rediscover the three oceans for which they have been actively preparing for several years. Back from a 7-day preparation session in the Mont Blanc massif under Eric Loizeau, Franck Cammas’ crew made a stopover at the Groupama Press HQ, 21 Bld Malesherbes in Paris’ 8th district, in order to present their challenge to the press.

This challenge crowns a twelve year partnership with Groupama since it was back in 1997 that the first sailing contract with Franck Cammas was signed:
“We have assessed the benefits of sailing sponsorship for the Group. Today, the French brand Groupama is one of the most ingrained on people’s minds within the sailing universe and its image has made huge steps in terms of daring, opening and modernity. The human adventure and forward thinking of this project has also increased the cohesion of our 38,500 employees and our 70,000 representatives” explains Frédérique Granado. “Competitive sailing is the perfect illustration of the tenacity, the taste for action, controlled risk and the sense of innovation that form part of Groupama’s identity. Now, sailing plays an important role in the influence of the brand in France as well as overseas, as we were able to witness during this year’s Route of the Subsidiaries”.

A familiar face in its Paris premises, the skipper of Groupama 3 presented his crew one by one. Among its ranks are a whole score of champions of international renown, such as Stan Honey, Stève Ravussin, Lionel Lemonchois as well as Thomas Coville: “I put my crew together by naturally favouring competence, as well as performance and motivation. These three qualities are dependent upon the ability to live together for around fifty days in a small space and in a fairly hostile universe. Initially this is what the success of our attempt revolves around” analyses Franck Cammas.

“In relation to our previous attempts, four new crew members have joined us. Stan Honey is replacing Yves Parlier in the navigation, Bruno Jeanjean is replacing Yann Dekker who’s aboard Alinghi, as is the case for Franck Proffit who’s replaced by Lionel Lemonchois and Sébastien Audigane by Thomas Coville. On paper and above all onboard during training, it’s the dream team. The remaining six crew, which might be described as the elders, have been aboard Groupama 3 since her launch in 2006: Stève Ravussin, Fred Le Peutrec, Loïc Le Mignon, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës”.

With an average of two victorious circumnavigations of the globe per crewman, with the exception of Cammas, Ravussin and Jeanjean, Groupama 3’s crew may be described as experienced. If we add to the mix the fact that three of them are already Jules Verne Trophy holders, that three of them have also won the Route du Rhum, one the Volvo Ocean Race and that together they broke the Trans-Mediterranean record this year, it can safely be said that performance goes hand in hand with their experience and competence.

There are now just two elements remaining to be victorious in their quest for the Holy Grail: to benefit from favourable weather conditions before setting off from Ushant and rounding the three capes, as well as to conserve Groupama 3 to ensure she makes it to the finish after sailing over 40,000 kilometres at high speed in what are often difficult seas, at times bordering on zones of ice, far away from any inhabited land: “In relation to our first round the world attempt, we’ve made a great deal of progress. This has been achieved by significantly reinforcing Groupama 3’s floats as well as covering a vast number of miles with two aims: to test the structure so as to gain confidence and get to know the boat better so as to go faster” continues Franck Cammas.

With ten days until the start of the stand-by period set for 1st November, the skipper of Groupama 3 can count on Sylvain Mondon, an expert router at Météo France, to analyse the forecasts on a daily basis and detect a good window sufficiently early to enable the crew to get to the boat: “To set off in good conditions, we’ll need 20 to 25 knots of NE’ly breeze, which will enable us to reach the equator in five to six days. Unfortunately we cannot anticipate how things are going to pan out after that, particularly as regards the position of the Saint Helena High. However, it’s the same scenario for all the challengers”.

Thanks to the colour code system put in place (red, orange, yellow and green), the crew don’t have to wait in Lorient or Brest for the fateful hour. Based in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland and France, the crew are given at least 72 hours’ warning before a probable departure. They have to be onboard 24 hours before the boat leaves the quayside on her way to the start line off Ushant.

Such organisation plays on Franck Cammas’ mind: “Experience has taught me that stand-by periods are tricky to handle as you can’t make any plans or organise anything for longer than three days. Analysing the weather forecasts is a good thing, but we prefer action. As such, if a good window presents itself early on, all ten of us will be very happy to set off on this extraordinary adventure that is a circumnavigation of the globe under sail. We have an exceptional boat in Groupama 3. It’s up to us to get the best out of her to beat the record set by Orange 2 and Bruno Peyron four years ago”. 

The crew and organisation aboard Groupama 3:
• Watch No.1: Franck Cammas / Loïc Le Mignon / Jacques Caraës
• Watch No.2: Stève Ravussin / Thomas Coville / Bruno Jeanjean
• Watch No.3: Fred Le Peutrec / Lionel Lemonchois / Ronan Le Goff
• Off-watch navigator: Stan Honey goes up on deck for manoeuvres
• Each watch lasts three hours
• One watch on deck, one watch on stand-by ready to perform manoeuvres, one watch totally resting 

 The record to beat has been held since 2005 by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 in 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes at an average speed of 17.89 knots. Lionel Lemonchois, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës were aboard.