Armel Le Cheach by  Yvan Zedda  BPCE

Armel Le Cheach (Photo by Yvan Zedda BPCE)

The Maxi Banque Populaire VII Solo skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h , accompanied by five men crew, members of Team Banque Populaire (Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Florent Vilboux Yvan Joucla and Christopher Pratt), has just reached the bay of New York after 8 days of sailing. Despite the cold wind and fog days, the crossing went well and the weather was relatively good.

“The delivery went very well. We had very good conditions with lots of downwind the early days, it was interesting, it allowed us to test the sails – it was one of our goals – and do a lot of small adjustments on the boat . We found no major problem, the maxi is almost ready to attempt the record in the North Atlantic . The crew is happy, everyone is relaxed and everything went well! We arrived in New York in a thick fog, somewhat comparable to the UK in November (laughter)  ; this is not the arrival that I imagined, under a beautiful blue sky with skyscrapers in the background but we are happy to arrive anyway ” , reported Armel shortly before setting foot (for first time) on earth New York.
Present in New York, Team Banque Populaire, with its expertise, will enjoy the next few days for an update on the boat, a few small tweaks and set the switch to “solo record.”

From June 2, the Maxi Banque Populaire Solo VII begin his period of “stand-by” waiting period during which Armel and Marcel Van Triest router carefully observe the weather to identify the right time to embark on crossing the Atlantic. Record to beat: 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds (held by Francis Joyon on his trimaran Idec).
The weather observation began working in close collaboration with the browser-router Marcel van Triest. Big unknown this year in the approach of this prodigious challenge, changes in the ice were still rife in number towards Newfoundland, which could greatly limit the options out.

Armel (Photo by Yann Zedda / BPCE)

Armel (Photo by Yann Zedda / BPCE)

Icebergs invite on the road record

For several weeks, and after the harsh winter which bathed the entire North American continent, the skipper of the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire VII Solo and router scrutinize carefully the evolution of pieces of ice that are slow to disintegrate in the North Atlantic, and wander off Newfoundland. “The baseline scenario depends on the ice situation” says Armel le Cléac’h. “Icebergs are very present on the track record. The direct route is not yet feasible. Remains the most southern option, followed last year by Francis Joyon, and that we could try our turn depending on the evolution of depressions. If the waiting period should be extended, with the arrival of summer, the ice should be evacuated from the direct route, and offer us another opportunity to jump us on the shortest path to the Lizard . The idea is as usual on this record, fetch good depression off Newfoundland that will accompany us to England. Navigate one edge along the road, a feat achieved by Banque Populaire V is the optimum desired condition, guaranteeing the most efficient route possible. We must stay ahead of the depression, in strong wind, 25 to 30 knots, mostly oriented around the boat, and above all, a less rough seas possible, because it is the size and frequency of the waves that affect the high speed trimaran such extremes. ” Armel Le Cléach has thus given an observation window and search for the optimum conditions five days to trigger the start. “We will from this weekend very precise study with Marcel van Triest on the situation Atlantic next week. Our forecasts are accurate for a period of about a week. If something is emerging, we work every day to ensure that all positive elements come together over a period of five days. Thus we worked at the record of the Route Discovery. It is a work exchange and sharing three with Marcel, but Ronan Lucas and myself. Ronan knows perfectly mechanics records, and responds quickly and efficiently to take advantage of any opportunity and prompt and final preparations for departure … “