Banque Populaire 'code green'
After a year and a half of waiting for a weather window, Pascal Bidegorry's Banque Populaire maxi trimaran is in danger of setting off on an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy today.
Rhe weather scenario in the Atlantic is ever involving and the differing views of the US and European models even as late as last night were indicating that the team should go 'code green' but had different thoughts about when the 40m trimaran, the fastest offshore boat in the world, should cross the start line between Ushant and the Lizard.
Last night the Banque Populaire team knew they would leave today but not exactly when. In fact they left the dock in Brest at 0800 as are now en route to the start line.
Speaking from Brest, France, Brian Thompson, the big blue tri's sole Anglo Saxon crewman commented: "We have been on standby for this record attempt since 1 November and our weather window spans until the end of February. After a long wait this winter, the weather for us to make a good passage to the Wquator looks good, so Pascal has made the call for us to leave. It will be great to finally depart."
Speaking about the weather, Thompson said ‘both skipper and the navigation team have been keeping a close eye on the weather for the last three months. The situation in the Atlantic has been very unusual this winter, but now we are confident of a speedy trip to the Equator and into the South Atlantic. With only 5-7 days for reliable weather forecasts it is hard to anticipate the conditions we will get beyond that. The record is very tight so there is no room for error.’
Thompson commented about the being onboard for the trip, "You can‘t getany more exciting sailing than this. I am really happy to be part of this great team. I think that after sailing with Steve Fossett I caught the record bug and appreciate the value of records as well as races. We are attempting to make sailing history over the next few week."