Update: Banque Populaire V crossed the line at 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds, beating the previous record by 2 days and 18 hours. An amazing performance by Captain Loick Peyron and his crew. Our heartiest congratulations.
The live satellite map shows the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V within 40 nautical miles of the finish line sailing at roughly 30 knots. French skipper, Loick Peyron, and the crew of the maxi-tri are within hours of breaking the around the world speed record under sail and claiming the Jules Verne Trophy, smashing the previous record of 48 days 7 hrs and 45 min set by Frank Cammas’ Groupama 3 in 2010. Banque Populaire V should cross the finish line line after roughly 45 days, 14 hours.
Brian Thompson, the only Briton in the crew, reports, ”Top speed I did on my last watch was 43.6 [knots]! That’s the fastest I will get to till the finish, as the wind will drop slowly. It might well have been my last full on blast on this mighty machine. We have been doing 800 miles a day, doing 35 knots, and you wonder if something will go wrong at those speeds.” Thompson will be the first Briton to circumnavigate the globe non-stop for a fourth time, beating existing records held by fellow sailors Dee Caffari MBE and Mike Golding OBE.
Brian Thompson thunders towards record books at 43 knots in Banque Populaire V
Banque Populaire’s achievement will be the seventh successful attempt on the title since the first in 1993, although 15 crews have failed, including Dame Ellen Macarthur, whose maxi catamaran Kingfisher II dismasted near the Kerguelen Islands in 2003 and Tracy Edwards, who also dismasted in the Southern Ocean on Royal SunAlliance five years previously.
Thompson is a veteran of multihull sailing with more miles under his belt than any other Briton. In 2009 he also came fifth in the Vendee Globe but has set his sights on breaking the ultimate record in sailing – round the world, solo, with no limits, in a giant 105ft trimaran.
Banque Populaire V is setting a record for both sail and powered vessels. The fastest powerboat to circumnavigate the globe was the Earthrace, in 2008 taking 61 days, making multiple stops. The Earthrace, renamed the Ady Gil, was later scuttled by the Sea Shepherds after a collision with a Japanese whaler.