MACIF arrives in New York City, July 3, 2017 (Photo © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.)

François Gabart and the crew on MACIF win THE BRIDGE 2017 Ultime Trimarans – Centennial Transat race as they crossed under the The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on July 3rd at 13:31 EST. The crew consisting of François Gabart – skipper, Pascal Bidégorry, Guillaume Combescure, Antoine Gautier, Benoît Marie and Yann Riou. They crossed in 8 days, 31 minutes and 20 seconds. The boat crossed the atlantic averaging 18.6 kts.

MACIF Crew at press conference (Photo © George Bekris)

The race pitted the Queen Mary 2 against four Ultime trimarans skippered by some of the greatest names in Ocean Racing. François Gabart – MACIF, Francis Joyon – IDEC SPORT, Thomas Coville – Sodebo Ultime and Yves Le Blévec – ACTUAL.

François Gabart © George Bekris

They left Saint-Nazaire on June 25th UTC for the 3068.4 nm transat. The trimaran skippers faced headwinds during much of their race as a result they raced a longer race in terms of actual miles than the Queen Mary 2. They also had some areas of very calm winds reducing their boat speed.

  • © George Bekris

The QM2 could follow a more or less straight line to the finish minus the exclusion zones for ice formations and Cetaceans. The Queen Mary 2 did stray into the ice exclusion zone for a short time before correcting causing them a penalty.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

IDEC SPORT, skippered by Francis Joyon placed 2nd when they crossed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 8 days 11 hours 9 minutes 3seconds. The crew covered this transat with an average of 17.2 kts of speed. We spoke to Francis Joyon following his arrival in New York and he said he plans to head back across the atlantic solo on Friday July 7th on IDEC SPORT. He stated this will be the first time he has a chance to sail IDEC SPORT solo and he wants to take this opportunity to get to know his boat without crew. 17.2 kts average speed.

  • © George Bekris

Sodebo Ultime crossed 3rd despite having an injured crewman on Tuesday, July 4 at 05:18:55 EST. Just 50 miles behind IDEC SPORT. They completed the race in 8 days,16 hours,18 minutes, 55 seconds with a 17.04 kts average speed.

Thomas Coville, the current round the world solo record holder, was in good spirits after arrival and was happy with the time they made coming in as they passed the Statue of Liberty right after dawn. They were able to complete the race without evacuating the injured Thierry Briend until they passed the finish. He was then transferred to a RIB and taken for medical attention as a precaution.

© Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co. NEW YORK CITY – USA , 4 Juillet 2017

Coville commented on dealing with his injured friend and crewmate after arriving at the Atlantic Boat Basin ““We were all very worried when Thierry had his problem,” Colville said. “I’m not going to discuss the whole race through this, but it really did affect us. He was knocked flat on his back and then the other way, face first onto a winch. He was incoherent for a few hours and couldn’t remember what had happened. The doctor said evacuating him from the boat wasn’t the right thing to do because it was best to keep him out of the elements. You need to have a very professional crew running the boat, so that when you have an injury, like Thierry had, you can manage it properly. We managed to race the boat to the finish and the situation with Thierry at the same time.”

  • © George Bekris

ACTUAL finish off the race and concluded the race when they arrived in New York on July 5th, at 10.28 pm and 58 seconds. They arrived in the night with spotlights highlighting the crew and boat against the Statue of Liberty as they passed.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

The event concluded for the Ultime Trimarans with the award ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on July 6, 2017.

  • © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.

Although the rest of the MACIF was on hand for the ceremony and to accept the award. François Gabart had to appear via live video because he had to return to France where his wife is expecting a baby at any time.

New York Yacht Club awards presentation. (Photo © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.)

The event concluded for the Ultime Trimarans with the award ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on July 6, 2017.

THE BRIDGE 2017 (Photo © George Bekris)

Crew of IDEC SPORT
Francis Joyon
Alex Pella (ESP)
Sébastien Audigane
Gwénola Gahinet
Clément Surtel
Quentin Ponroy

Crew of ACUTAL
Yves Le Blévec
Samantha Davies
Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant
Davy Beaudart
Stanislas Thuret

Crew of Sodebo Ultime
Thomas Coville
Jean-Luc Nélias
Vincent Riou
Billy Besson
Loïc Le Mignon
Thierry Briend

Crew of MACIF
François Gabart
Pascal Bidégorry
Guillaume Combescure
Antoine Gautier
Benoît Marie
Yann Riou

Damien Grimont, Organiser of THE BRIDGE, is raised overhead by the MACIF Crew after they docked at The Atlantic Basin (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Visit George Bekris Photography for more photos of THE BRIDGE 2017 Maxi Trimarans and Crews 

Visit THE BRIDGE 2017 for more Information and Statistics about the Maxi Trimarans Race

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

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

It has been a bit more than a year since the Maxi Banque Populaire V has been launched and this incredible multihull is now ready to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy. After having triumphed over the Atlantic and on the 24 hour distance, Pascal Bidégorry and his crew are now prepared to set off and steal Bruno Peyron’s record established in 2005 aboard the maxi catamaran Orange 2.  From now on, the skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire V and his Team scrutinize any weather opportunity to undertake this circumnavigation around the globe in less than 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes.
In time and in good shape! After a two month refit and one month of training and of physical preparation, Pascal Bidégorry is a satisfied and confident skipper: “I’m so glad to be here, with everything we have accomplished. I am really pleased and appreciate the work achieved by the whole Team of Banque Populaire. We just took the appropriate time to reach the right level of preparation and we actually fully comply with the planning” explained Pascal. They are even ahead of schedule with the stand-by mode being announced 3 days before the planned date. The skipper carried on: “we have tried in recent weeks to step back from everything that can happen on board and all our embedded systems. We knew they were effective but there were still some issues to solve in the perspective of sailing around the world on this boat. Today, I feel everybody serene.”
Entering the SouthAccording to Pascal, in order to determine the best weather window, it is paramount to reach the roaring forties as quickly as possible, which means exit the Bay of Biscay quickly, then cross the Doldrums and go through the St Helen highs without having to divert. “We are trying to get a long term overview of the conditions to get into the south. Being ahead of Orange 2 is what really matters to us, and not only at the Doldrums. Nonetheless, weather forecasts in the southern hemisphere are actually very complex and not that interesting.” After Groupama 3’s departure last week on it attempt to break the record, Pascal and his team had a closer look at the expected conditions. “The window they have selected was not inspiring us that much” clarified Pascal. “We did not see any hurry in leaving that quickly especially as weather systems in the South do not seem to be fairly settled. I really have no regrets in not departing together but we are indeed following Groupama 3 with great interest and analyzing the weather sequences heading south.”
Pascal Bidegorry has selected an incredible crew to attempt this record with him. Those sailors, doted of high human values and versatile experience, competitiveness and technical skills, will be joined up by Thierry Chabagny, an accomplished Figaro sailor.
From this Thursday 12 November, they are now all entering into RED code in their departure procedure. If a favorable weather window is identified, they would then switch to ORANGE code, meaning there would be a chance of departure within the next 48 to 72 hours. In the case the window is confirmed, the team then switches to GREEN code and can depart within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Maxi Banque Populaire V’s crew list
SKIPPER Pascal Bidégorry
Ronan Lucas / Technical Director
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of security
Ewen Le Clech / Boat Captain of the Maxi Banque Populaire V
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the hydraulic mechanic and fittings
Kévin Escoffier / In charge of the Maxi Banque Populaire V’s design team
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : Vidéo
Yann Eliès
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : sails
Yvan Ravussin
Role : Watch leader Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the video and composite
Emmanuel Le Borgne
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the medical
Erwan Tabarly
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the electronics
Pierre Yves Moreau
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the composite and fitting
Florent Chastel
Role : Bowman
Other : In charge of the medical and rigging
Xavier Revil
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : food on board
Thierry Chabagny
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Marcel Van Triest
Role : Weather Router, Navigator

 

Banque Populaire V During Record Crossing (Photo by Team Banque Populaire V)

Banque Populaire V During Record Crossing (Photo by Team Banque Populaire V)

Pascal Bidégorry and his crew of 11 men aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, smashed the Transatlantic Record crossing the North Atlantic,by half a day. They also broke the 24hr record with 908 miles.
Groupama 3 also broke their own record set in 2007.

THE ATLANTIC CROSSING RECORD

The first record time for sailing across the North Atlantic was established by the ATLANTIC schooner, a 56 m long three-masted vessel skippered by the famous American captain Charlie Barr in 1905, in more than 12 days. For 75 years this record was not beaten.

Eric Tabarly was to be the first person to smash it in 1980 aboard his trimaran PAUL RICARD, cutting the time to 10 days.

Marc Pajot (ELF AQUITAINE I), Patrick Morvan (JET SERVICES II), Loïc Caradec & Philippe Facques (ROYALE II), Philippe Poupon (FLEURY MICHON VIII), then Serge Madec (JET SERVICES V) each in turn reduceD the time, the latter having achieved the crossing in 6 days 13h 3mn and 32s in June 1990 at an average speed of 18.42 knots. This record was to remain in everyone’s mind, as it stood for more than 10 years.

We had to wait for the new generation of maxi-catamarans built for The Race for the record held by JET SERVICES V to be smashed. It was beaten on 10th October 2001 by the American Steve Fossett aboard his 38 m maxi-catamaran PLAYSTATION in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 mn and 6s, at an incredible average speed of 25.78 knots.

Bruno Peyron and his Orange II crew smashed Fossett’s record aboard the maxi catamaran Orange II, finishing the course from Ambrose Light near New York City to Lizard Point off the southwestern tip of Great Britain in just 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds – more than 9 hours faster than Fossett. Halfway through the 3,100 nautical mile trip, Orange II hit a submerged iceberg and broke one of its two steering rudders.

The Orange II Dream Team improved on the record set by Steve Fossett’s PlayStation by 9 hours 4 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that was said to be unbeatable.

Next was 105 foot trimaran Groupama III , in 2007
With an almost unbelievable time of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds, beating Bruno Peyron’s time on Orange II by almost 5 hours.

Today in 2009 that record has been shattered again.
Prelimary times until ratified are,

Groupama 3, – 3 days 18 hrs, 12 min, 58 secs – average speed 31.92 kts

Banque Populaire V,- 3 days, 15 hrs,25 min,48 secs, average speed 32.94 kts, peak speed 47.15 kts,

24 Hour Record, 908 mile, average speed of 37.8 kts
1905 – Charlie Barr – Atlantic – USA – 12d 4h 1m – 10.02 kts
1980 – Eric Tabarly – Paul Ricard – FRA – 10d 5h 14m – 11.93 kts
1981 – Marc Pajot Elf – Aquitaine – FRA – 9d 10h 6m – 12.94 kts
1984 – Patrick Morvan – Jet Services II – FRA 8d 16h 33m – 14.03 kts
1986 – Loïc Caradec – Royale II – FRA – 7d 21h 5m – 15.47 kts
1987 – Philippe Poupon – Fleury Michon VIII – FRA – 7d 12h 50m – 16.18 kts
1988 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA -7d 6h 30m – 16.76 kts
1990 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA – 6d 13h 3m – 18.62 kts
2001 – Steve Fossett – PlayStation – USA – 4d 17h 28m 6s – 25.78 kts
2006 – Bruno Peyron – Orange II – FRA – 4d 8h 23m 54s – 28 kts
2007 – Franck Cammas – Groupama 3 – FRA – 4d 3h 57m 54s – 29.26 kts

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Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris On Board Banque Prior To Record Populaire Breaking Crossing (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

Banque Populaire V Crew Before Breaking The North Atlantic Record (Photo by Team Banque Populaire)

Banque Populaire V Crew Before Breaking The North Atlantic Record (Photo by Team Banque Populaire)

 

Groupama 3 Finishing Atlantic Crossing (Photo by Alex Julian)

Groupama 3 Finishing Atlantic Crossing (Photo by Alex Julian)

Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris onboard Groupama 3 (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

Challenge and Adventure's George Bekris onboard Groupama 3 (Photo by Donna Erichsen)