Banque Populaire 'code amber'
Finally the Banque Populaire maxi tri team have gone ‘code amber’ on their Jules Verne Trophy attempt departure, which the team says could take place between Thursday and Sunday.
Impressively Pascal Bidegorry’s team have been on stand-by to attempt the fully crewed non-stop lap of the planet not just this winter but all last winter as well. Throughout this time the 40m maxi-trimaran’s skipper along with Team Director Ronan Lucas, weather expert Marcel van Triest and the crew have been constantly pouring over the forecasts.
Shore based router van Triest commented: “For one and a half winters there’s been a very atypical situation in the North Atlantic, making it difficult the possibility of arriving at the Ecuador in good conditions. The problem with this kind of record is that the bar is already very high and we must leave in optimum conditions.”
According to van Triest an area of high pressure is developing over the UK and this will provide a favourable wind direction in which to set out across the Bay of Biscay. After this there is a depression growing around the Azores and heading towards the Canaries and it is the movement of this and the timing of its movement and how many manoeuvres they will have to make to negotiate it that will be critical to whether they set sail or not.
“Lastly, we also look at the evolution of the Trade Winds which give the impression they will be restored from west to east.”
Skipper Pascal Bidégorry cannot hide his enthusiasm over the prospect of a possible departure. "We had decided from the start to take the least opportunity which would offer itself to us and I am of course delighted it has presented itself... finally! I am very glad to change mode!
“We will try to do as well as possible. 48 days for a circumnavigation is at the same time long and short. The course has many obstacles, especially with these maxi-multihull record breakers. I am very happy with my crew. The wait has been long but everyone has remained focussed on the objective.”
Read our interview with crewman Brian Thompson here