The press release, translated from the French by Google, reads, “Maxi Banque Populaire V hit a UFO*. ” The footnote clarifies that the trimaran hit an “unidentified floating object.” (Late last month we posted about the trimaran Banque Populaire V setting off from Brest in an attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy.) Nevertheless, the entire account has an otherworldly aspect.
The trimaran apparently hit an object in the water while traveling at 37 knots ( 43 mph). It appears that they have damaged a 600 kg dagger board and its associated ”crash-box” (le barreau de la dérive . If anyone has better translation, please pass it along.) To be prudent, they slowed to 25 knots and headed for calmer waters for a complete inspection. They are currently attempting to repair the damaged dagger board. For most of us the idea of “slowing down” to 25 knots in a sailboat is quite remarkable in its own right.
The Jules Verne Trophy is currently held by French trimaran Groupama 3 which in March of last year set the new around the world speed record of 48 days, 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds, the fastest circumnation sped recorded for a yacht of either sail or power. The fastest recorded powerboat circumnavigation was 61 days by the ill-fated Ady Gil, which was later scuttled by the Sea Shepherds following a collision with a Japanese whaler.
Prior to the collision with the unidentified floating object, the Banque Populaire V was ahead of the where Groupama 3 had been at the same time in the voyage and had recorded passages of 700 nautical miles per day.