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The maxi trimaran, Banque Populaire V and its 14 crew crossed the Jules Verne Trophy finish line near Brest, France late on the night of January 6th to set a new Jules Verne Record for the fastest lap of the planet by a sailing vessel (subject to approval by the WSSRC).

Historic voyage

France’s Loïck Peyron and his team aboard Banque Populaire started their voyage on November 22, 2011 at 08:31:42 GMT, after crossing the imaginary line between Ushant (Finistère-France) and Lizard Point (southern tip of England). They crossed the finish line at 22:14:35 GMT on Friday January 6, 2012 after sailing for 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds at an average speed of 26.51 knots, covering a total distance of 29,002 miles and shaving 2 days, 18 hours, 1 minute, and 59 seconds off the previous record set by Groupama 3 in March 2010.

<i>Banque Populaire V</i> crosses the finish line, breaking the world circumnavigation record. Photo courtesy of BPCE.

Banque Populaire V crosses the finish line, breaking the world circumnavigation record. Photo courtesy of BPCE.

Launched in August 2008 in Lorient (Morbihan-France), the giant trimaran, holding the colours of Banque Populaire, has also established several referenced times on various partials officially listed by the WSSRC for her first world tour, including an Equator-to-Equator record of  32 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes, 30 seconds, and an Indian Ocean crossing record (Cape Agulhas / South of Tasmania) of 8 days, 7 hours,  22 minutes,  15 seconds.

Team celebration

Under the leadership of skipper Loïck Peyron, the team of Thierry Chabagny, Florent Chastel, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Kevin Escoffier, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Yvan Ravussin, Xavier Revil, Brian Thompson, Juan Vila, and onshore router Marcel van Triest, were delighted with their victory.

At the finish, Loïck Peyron said: “We will now appreciate our victory between us and will return to Brest tomorrow morning to share this beautiful story with everyone. Our memories are full of wonderful images: the departure, icebergs, albatrosses, the Kerguelen Islands… When you sail around the world in 45 days, you see many things. The only one we did not get is Cape Horn, but this frustration is quickly forgotten with the record we now have in hands. We are very proud!

The record-breaking <i>Banque Populaire V</i> crew. Photo courtesy of B-Stichelbaut/BPCE

The record-breaking Banque Populaire V crew. Photo courtesy of B-Stichelbaut/BPCE

Brian Thompson, the sole Briton amongst the 14-strong crew, said: “Everyone is really excited on board and we are looking forward to seeing everybody tomorrow morning. This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride. And that is because of the quality of the boat, of the preparation, and most of all to the incredible crew on board.”

Thompson added: “I am very fortunate to have sailed with Loïck, the best all-round multihull sailor there is, and the rest of the team that are so talented, industrious, dedicated, fun, and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French! It feels absolutely fantastic. At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop 4 times, is just amazing and feels very special.”

For more information on the voyage see, Brian Thompson Sailing.

Written by: Doug Logan
Doug Logan has been a senior editor of since 2010. He's a former editor-in-chief of Practical Sailor, managing editor and technical editor of Sailing World, webmaster for Sailing World and Cruising World, contributing editor to Powerboat Reports, and the editor of dozens of books about boats, boat gear, and the sea.