The changes in sailing had been on the horizon for a while. The turning point we can all point to was the last America’s Cup with foiling catamarans.In the Vendee Globe, the boats which have foils are clearly faster.

I believe I read that Joyon cut the jig down on Idec for this attempt; making it an easier boat to handle. Just look at the numbers he is putting up.



“Geronimo” has been updated for Thomas Coville. Olivier de Kersauson set the bar high with “Geronimo” some years ago; setting records everywhere he sailed.


The excitement must be palpable aboard Banque Populaire V. the distance to the finish is 1150 miles, their advantage over Groupama is 1330 miles and increasing with every passing hour; sailing at over 30 knots of boat speed.

Here is the latest weather chart showing the cold front they are riding to the finish. They had to sail almost to New York to set up for this, but with a boat of this size, it is not hard to do. It is more about knowing when to slow down sailing these monsters.

This is a wonderful accomplishment, while yet uncompleted, it is almost certain they will set a new record. It must also be put in context; this is the largest, most powerful boat anywhere, much larger than Groupama. Clearly well prepared. The crew seemed to have no particular problems all the way around the world. The weather routers were nothing short of brilliant.


Banques Populaire V the massive French trimaran has been at sea for 40 days and nights. She is under 2500 miles from the finish. The Azores high is forcing them to sail almost towards Boston, MA to get to Lorient.


Interestingly, this final leg in the north atlantic has been the bugaboo for many attempts, each of whom arrived here ahead of the record only to get stuck as they approached the finish. BP is hold a 2000 mile lead over Groupama and while I am certain no one on board would whisper it until they cross the finish line, they can taste victory.


“Banque Populaire V” holds a thousand mile lead over the ghost ship “Groupama” the holder of the record around the world, as she navigates through icebergs at speed. As always, with boats of this potential, it is about slowing down more than simply letting her run. They passed most spectacular iceberg 28 times the size of the Isle of Wight, and are about 9,000 miles from the finish. That does not sound like much anymore. Obviously a lot can happen between now and the finish but so far they have had great success.

Honestly, I am having trouble maintaining interest in the Volvo Race. Too many legs, too many inshore events. For me, it would be more interesting if the legs were longer.

DAY 17

Banque Populaire V has a 2300 mile lead over the phantom Groupama, the present record holder. We tend to focus on the boat and the crew. The real story for me is the weather routing. The departure of Banque Populaire from Ushant occurred not because there was wind that day, but rather after exhaustive study the low systems globally appeared to be lining up favorably. So far, it is brilliant.