Shortly before midnight at Greenwich from January 6 to 7, yachtsmen and sailing fans celebrated a remarkable event - another absolute record of sailing around the world.
« Absolute» means in this case the most impressive one is chosen from the many possible records of such a voyage (from east to west, from west to east, alone, with the crew, on a single hull, on a multihull yacht). This is, of course, the record of sailing with full crew on a multihull yacht from west to east, in the direction of the prevailing winds. French yachtsmen, fanatics of high-speed multihulls, have established a special prize for the record-breakers of this voyage - the Trophy (sometimes called the Cup, which is not quite true) by Jules Verne, named after the writer whose hero first circumnavigated the globe not just for fun, but for speed. Phileas Fogg had at his disposal all the vehicles of the day: balloons, railways and steamboats. Yachtsmen, however, were satisfied with only the strength of the wind that drew their sailing ship along the waves of the Great Ocean around three capes (Good Hope, Lewin and Horn).
The idea of the trophy itself appeared in the
The intensity of the struggle was sometimes so great that the yachtsmen went out into the ocean twice in one year - as soon as they could fix the breakdowns that forced them to retire, they were back in the fight for the record.
Each year the size of the participating yachts and their average speed have increased. The first record set in 1993 by Bruno Peyron was 79 days 6 hours 15 minutes and 56 seconds. The famous athlete broke this record twice more (in 2002 and 2005), bringing the result to 50 days.
And here we are - a new success! The giant trimaran Banque Populaire V, the largest sailing multihull today, under the command of his brother Bruno Peyron Luyk, has set a new phenomenal result - 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes and 53 seconds! This is 2 days and 18 hours better than the previous result shown by Frank Camma on the Groupama trimaran in 2010.
Will this record be updated soon? I'd venture to assume that it's unlikely. For the following reason: now in fact there are only two quite large, powerful and modern multihulls capable of it: the current owner of the Banque Populaire V record and the previous one - Groupama. But both Groupama President Thierry Martel (himself a passionate yachtsman) and team skipper Frank Camma have already stated that today they are more interested in the Volvo Ocean Race than in competing with an absentee at the ocean distance. And apart from these two yachts, there is no other yacht in the world yet capable of competing for the Jules Verne Trophy. At the distance around three capes, there is a certain lull. How long will it last?