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.



(February 3, 2011; Day 13) – At 2:00 am (Paris time), while sailing at a

speed of 37 knots south of the 40th parallel, the 131-foot trimiran Banque

Populaire V hit an unidentified floating object during their Jules Verne

Trophy Record attempt. Under the shock, part of the crash box drift – part

fuse protecting the immersed part – was broken, requiring Pascal Bidegorry

and his crew to heave to for an hour to go account of the damage.

“Tonight, we immediately felt the shock but the Maxi Banque Populaire V did

not stop,” said Bidegorry. “However, we made the decision to halt the

progress of the boat and ride the sails. But in the dark night, it was not

easy to realize the damage.”

Further confirmation of the damage has not been available. The immediate

plan for the crew was to limit their speed to 25 knots and seek out a calm

region so that they can better review the situation in daylight. The team

is currently at the 45 degree south latitude, southwest of the African