By Tom Weaver, Partner, Weaver-Price Design & Construction
We are all living in an era of truly remarkable development within the world of offshore sailing. Banque Populaire V, a 130ft ocean racing trimaran has just shattered the round-the-world nonstop sailing record by more than 2 days with an average speed of 26.51 knots.
The record now stands at 45d 13h 42m 53s.
Skippered by LoÃ¯ck Peyron of France, the crew of Banque Populaire V raced around the planet under sail power alone at speeds in excess of 43 knots. In fact, upon leaving France at the end of November, they were dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean by Christmas, and have completed the circumnavigation via the 3 great capes, a route made famous by the great grain clippers of the early 19th century. To put this into perspective, the round-the-world record was lowered to under 80 days for the very first time in 1993, it now stands at just over 45 days.
Helmsman Brian Thompson, who is also the only native English-speaker on board, was a teammate of mine back in the early 2000’s when we competed on Cheyenne (formerly Playstation), a 125ft catamaran attempting numerous 24hr, transatlantic, and round-the-world records. Brian has now become the first Englishman to complete 4 non stop circumnavigations (he has attempted many more) and is soft spoken and enthusiastic and probably one of the more laid back people I have ever been to sea with. Throughout this adventure Brian has kept me enthralled with his adventure via Twitter and Facebook, and the bar he and the rest of team on Banque Populaire V have now set will certainly prove a formidable barrier to overcome in the future.
Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @briansailing
Check out this video of Banque Populaire V as they smash the Transatlantic Record… It’ll give you an idea of what 40 knots in a sailboat looks like.