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16 August 2011, 11:02 am
Banque Populaire Takes Rolex Fastnet Race Line Honours
Banque Populaire
Banque Populaire crosses the finish line

2011 Rolex Fastnet Race
Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain

Maxi Banque Populaire (FRA), the 140 foot trimaran skippered by Loick Peyron, set a new outright multihull race record for the Rolex Fastnet Race when she reached Plymouth at 19:48:46 on 15 August for an elapsed time of 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds* (32 hrs, 48 mins), and an average speed around the course of 18.5 knots.
It was 12:00 on Sunday 14 August when traditional canons freed the fleet of 300 boats in the Solent. In front of competitors' bows of all sizes: 608 miles of an exceptional journey and a quest, the Fastnet Rock in the Irish Sea. On board the Maxi Banque Populaire V, the largest sailing boat engaged in this unique armada, the objective was clear: to be the fastest and keep competitors, albeit smaller but still menacing, in awe.

More used to challenging the clock without any other opponent than time itself, the confrontation sailing mode was a rare but very exciting opportunity that the thirteen men on board did not fail to seize: "We had already seen that our competitor, Gitana 11 was doing fine at the Record SNSM. Once again, they were not far away from us, even on our back. This has forced us trying things we probably would not have without this motivation. We really raced and we learnt a lot about the boat. "

Once the Fastnet Lighthouse was passed in the lead this Monday morning, the maxi trimaran completed the course at 19:48:46 local time, after 32 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds of a race conducted in English weather conditions: "We started with very good weather which allowed us to make a nice start in the Solent. We sailed upwind on the first half of the race. We had proper English conditions with light wind. And then fortunately, turning once again the Fastnet - a nice lighthouse we definitely see a lot lately - we finally got 30 knots of wind to go down to the finish line. "

Happy to finish and always ready to give vent to his legendary enthusiasm Loïck Peyron remembered "his" history with the Rolex Fastnet Race and the paradox of the day: "Today is a bad and a good day for me! The record set in 1999 with Fujicolor was just beaten. Since then, it had never been bothered. The good news is that it is the great crew I get to set the tempo to that has beaten it. It is not going too far! It really is an incredible pleasure to sail with those exceptional men on board this great machine. When you have an orchestra like this, music can only be good ".

The Maxi Banque Populaire V will go back offshore to set sail towards her home port of Lorient and her base. Out of the water late in the week, she will undergo a complete check-up before starting to prepare for her major offshore adventure, the Jules Verne Trophy which Loïck Peyron and his men will attack later this year.

Monohull Line Honours
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the Volvo 70 skippered by Ian Walker (GBR) claimed the line honours in the monohull class after crossing the finish line at 07:49 on 16 August just four minutes and 42 seconds ahead of Franck Cammas' Groupama.

All three of the VO70s were inside the record set by Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard in 2007 so Azzam sets a new monohull race record, subject to ratification by the WSSRC.

Rambler 100 - Update
At midnight, Monday 15 August, Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club received a call from Mick Harvey, Project Manager of George David's Rambler 100 (USA). Harvey spoke about the harrowing incident when the 100' Maxi Rambler 100 capsized in the Celtic Sea during the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The incident happened just after Rambler 100 rounded the Fastnet Rock at 17:25 BST. At the time, Rambler 100 were leading the monohull fleet and vying for monohull line honours.

The crew were rescued by helicopter, life boat and a local fishing boat and all are safe and well.

* Recod subject to ratification by the WSSRC

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