The Maxi Trimaram Banque Populaire V left Port du Chateau in Brest on Saturday for the boats first attempt in the Jules Verne Trophy.
Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew crossed the start line off Ushant at 11:11:45 UTC. And they have to be back in less than 48 days, seven hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds in order to beat the record time established by Groupama 3
in March 2010.
Extremely focused on attacking in his first attempt, the skipper Bidegorry was happy about leaving on Saturday, even though the weather conditions were not that clear.
"We will be leaving downwind and sailing around a depression,"
Bidegorry said. "Below this depression, we cannot hide the fact that the forecast is not straight forward.
"However, we have been waiting for this moment for a long time and we cannot let this opportunity go. I am really excited to be going to sea and I really think we deserve it.
"I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, tomorrow night or in two days time and realising: "that's it! We're there". These stand-by periods are somewhat painful and I am really looking forward to saying that we are in the Jules Verne Trophy, the objective of the past four years. This is a great moment in my life."
Indeed, the weather situation is not that clear over the Atlantic, as Brian Thompson explained just before leaving the dock, "We are confronted by two different weather models: the European and the American ones. They are showing us different things so we decided to go for the pessimistic one, the European, in order to avoid falling in light winds.
"In fact, there is a low pressure off the Canaries which is going to kill the trade wind a little bit and then another massive low crossing the Atlantic. As this latter comes closer, it might completely kill the trade winds
"We are just trying to sneak pass a little over the Canaries, turn round that and get down to the South before the big depression comes over."
It will be no mean feat for the Skipper and his 13 crew onboard Banque Populaire V
, and for them 10 March 2011 will be highlighted in their diaries as the date to aim for as they attempt to sail into the record books.
Maxi Banque Populaire
V's crew list:
Pascal Bidégorry: skipper
Watch Number 1
Yvan Ravussin: Watch leader, in charge of video and composite
Brian Thompson: Helmsman / Trimmer
: Helmsman / Trimmer
Pierre-Yves Moreau: Bowman, in charge of fittings and composite
Watch Number 2
Fred Le Peutrec: Watch leader
Emmanuel Le Borgne: Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of medics
Erwan Tabarly: Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of electronics
Ronan Lucas: Bowman, in charge of security
Watch Number 3
Jérémie Beyou: Watch leader
Kevin Escoffier: Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of video
Xavier Revil: Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of food
Florent Chastel: Bowman, in charge of medics and rigging
Marcel van Triest: Shore weather router
The Record To Beat
Yacht: "Groupama 3". 103ft Trimaran
Name: Franck Cammas (FRA) and a crew of 9.
Dates: 31 January 2010 to 20 March 2010.
Start time: 13:55:53
Finish time: 21:40:45.
Elapsed time: 48 days seven hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Average speed: 18.76kts
For more information on Banque Populaire V click here.