Pascal Bidégorry and his crew of Banque Populaire V made history in 2009 by setting an incredible new benchmark time on the transatlantic record. Less than a year after its launch, the word's biggest ocean racing trimaran at 131 feet smashed the transatlantic record, taking a phenomenal 12 hours off the previous record held by fellow record hunter Franck Cammas and Groupama 3 since 2007.
Cammas was also on the prowl for a new record and set off from New York two hours earlier than Bidégorry, setting the scene for a real race between the world's fastest oceanic multihulls. On 31 July, Groupama 3 reported a new 24 hour record of 841 miles but Banque Populaire V took this further still, recording first 880 miles and then an astounding 908 nautical miles in 24 hours. Sailing at an average speed of 37.84 knots, Bidégorry's new 24 hour record, added more than 100 miles to the existing record, also held by Cammas.
On 2 August, the transatlantic record was also in the hands of Bidégorry. Banque Populaire V had completed the 2,880 nautical mile journey at an average speed of 32.94 knots. Consistently sailing above 40 knots, Banque Populaire V reached a peak speed of 47.15 knots and covered the distance between New York and the Lizard Point in just 3 days, 15 hour, 25 minutes and 48 seconds.
Maxi Trimaran - Banque Populaire V (skipper - 11 crew)
Transatlantic Outright Record - 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes & 48 seconds, average speed 32.94 knots, distance 2,880nm - Jul-Aug 2009
24 Hour Outright - 908.2nm, average speed 37.84 knots - 31 Jul-1 Aug 2009
Décision 35 - Banque Populaire - (skipper - 5 crew)
Challenge Julius Baer - SUI
11 - Grand Prix Corum - Apr 2009
5 - Genève - Rolle - Genève - Jun 2009
5 - Bol d'Or Mirabaud - Jun 2009
2 - l'Open de Nyon - Aug 2009
What inspired you to take up sailing?
Technical development on sailing and racing boats, conception and human adventure
What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?
On a First Class 18, I was 16 years old.
Name your first sailing club
Yacht Club de Adour Atlantique à Anglet (Pays Basque - France)
What was the first event you competed in and in what year?
The Solitaire de Figaro in 1995 and I finished 1st bizuth
What are you personal sailing career highlights?
What are your future sailing goals?
The Trophee Jules Verne on the Maxi Banque Populaire V with my team
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?
The first person was Serge Blanco, an old international rugby player who helped me when I started my career. The second important person was Laura Vergne, who was President of the Figaro Class and she helped me to start my professional career in sailing.
Who is your sailing hero?
What other sports do you enjoy?
All mountain sports - skiing and rugby
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?
It's a real honour to be nominated and it makes me realize what we have done during the North Atlantic Record - the 24 hour record with 908 miles and also the new reference time - 3 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes.
If I was voted the winner, it woudl be an additional motivation to establish a new reference time and win the Trophée Jules Verne Record on Maxi Banque Populaire V.