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3 August 2009, 11:30 am
Banque Populaire V Smashes Transatlantic Record
The Banque Populaire V team celebrate their record breaking transatlantic crossing
The Banque Populaire V team celebrate their record breaking transatlantic crossing

World Record Attempt

French maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V has smashed the transatlantic record covering the course from Ambrose Light, New York to Lizard Point on the southwest tip of Great Britain in just 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).
Skipper Pascal BIDÉGORRY (FRA) and his 11 crew onboard Banque Populaire V crossed the finishing line at Lizard Point at 14:13:30 UTC on Sunday, smashing the four-day barrier for the North Atlantic. They covered the 2,921 nm at an average speed of 32.94 knots, including an incredible peak speed of 47.15 knots. The new record time is 12 hours, 32 minutes and 6 seconds faster than the previous record set just two years ago by Groupama 3. It is the first world record claimed by the new Banque Populaire V, one year after its launch.

During the crossing the Banque Populaire V team also set a new 24-hour distance record, again subject to WSSRC ratification, of 908nm - an average speed of 37.8 knots.

"I do not even realize what we have done," said BIDÉGORRY just after the team crossed the finishing line at Lizard Point. "It was already hard to imagine that we could go so fast in 24 hours but this record leaves me a huge split between emotion and surprise. This record victory is rewards for three years of work by the whole Team, preparers, the office, architects and all the teams in the Banque Populaire. I'm really very pleased to offer these two gifts: the crewed speed record of 24 hours and the new reference time for the North Atlantic."

BIDÉGORRY added the capturing the Transatlantic record was a crucial step in the team's preparations to take on the Jules Verne Trophy for the outright round the world record, currently held at 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes by Orange II and skipper Bruno PEYRON (FRA).

"I didn't think we could go so quickly," BIDÉGORRY continued, "We were not thinking whether we could better the time of 2007. We remained focused on the weather, the strategy and start the boat with the obsession to squeeze every last drop. Maxi Banque Populaire V is a non-standard boat and we are all extremely proud to be able to sail this exceptional boat."

Banque Populaire was followed across the finishing line at Lizard Point just 12 minutes later by Groupama 3. The trimaran driven by Franck CAMMAS and his nine crew lost out in their record battle with Banque Populaire, but still bettered the previous record, taking 3 days, 18 hours, 12 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 31.92 knots.

The record breaking run comes after many months of careful planning, and a month and a half since Banque Populaire V went on stand-by to start her record attempt. It was during the middle of last week that the weather finally smiled on French team, with the routers identifying a weather-window, leaving the possibility to improve the reference time recorded in July 2007 of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds. On the night of Wednesday/Thursday, at 00:47:42 French time, BIDÉGORRY crossed the starting line at Ambrose Lighthouse off New York, USA to start their incredible record attempt. With the same aim, CAMMAS and his team on Groupama 3 had left New York a little less than three hours earlier at (22:12:16 French time).

Despite difficult conditions with heavy seas and dense fog at the start, Banque Populaire V was soon up on record pace, recording average speeds of 36 knots on Thursday.

On Saturday, the first record time fell into the hands of Team Banque Populaire, which established a new 24-hour distance record after recording an incredible distance of 908 miles at an average speed of 37.8 knots.

By Sunday afternoon, Pascal BIDÉGORRY and his crew had entered the record books, as just 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds after leaving New York, they crossed the Transatlantic finishing line at Lizard Point.

World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com

ISAF (source: Banque Populaire Voile/Groupama 3)
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