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The boat and the crew have been set for weeks. They set off this morning from the Port du Chateau in Brest and crossed the start line off Ushant at 11h11m45sec (UTC) for the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire’s first attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew have to be back in less than 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds in order to beat the record time established by Groupama 3 in March 2010.
A tricky window
It was just before 9 am this morning when the Maxi Trimaran left the dock, in the Port du Chateau in Brest. Between the excitement of leaving and the emotion of leaving families, the moment was really intense for the 14 crew.
Extremely focused on attacking this first attempt, the skipper Pascal Bidegorry is happy about leaving today, even though the weather conditions are not that clear: «we will be leaving downwind and sailing around a depression. Below this depression, we cannot hide from the fact that the forecast is not straight forward. However, we have been waiting for this moment for a long time and we cannot let this opportunity go. I am really excited to be going to sea and I really think that we deserve it. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, tomorrow night or in two days time and realising: “that’s it ! We’re there!”. These stand-by periods are somewhat painful and I am really looking forward to saying that we are in the Jules Verne Trophy, the objective of the past four years. This is a great moment in my life. ”
The Canaries, a central concern
Indeed, the weather situation is not that clear over the Atlantic, as Brian Thompson explained just before leaving the dock: “We are confronted by two different weather models: the European and the American ones. They are showing us different things so we decided to go for the pessimistic one, the European, in order to avoid falling in light winds. In fact, there is a low pressure off the Canaries which is going to kill the trade winds a little bit and then another massive low crossing the Atlantic. As this latter comes closer, it might completely kill the trade winds. We are just trying to sneak pass a little low over the Canaries, turn round that and get down to the South before the big depression comes over.”
It will be no mean feat for the Skipper, Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew onboard Banque Populaire V, and for them the 10th March will be highlighted in their diaries as the date to aim for as they attempt to sail into the record books.
Maxi Banque Populaire V’s crew list
Off Watch :
Pascal Bidégorry : skipper
Juan Vila : navigator
Yvan Ravussin : Watch leader, in charge of video and composite
Brian Thompson : Helmsman / Trimmer
Thierry Chabagny : Helmsman / Trimmer
Pierre-Yves Moreau : Bowman, in charge of fittings and composite
Fred Le Peutrec : Watch leader
Emmanuel Le Borgne : Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of medics
Erwan Tabarly : Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of electonics
Ronan Lucas : Bowman, in charge of security
Jérémie Beyou : Watch leader
Kevin Escoffier: Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of video
Xavier Revil : Helmsman / Trimmer, in charge of food
Florent Chastel : Bowman, in charge of medics and rigging
Marcel van Triest : Shore weather routeur