Second attempt on hold

More extensive repairwork required to Banque Populaire than first thought

Saturday February 26th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Back in Lorient since last Sunday after their failed attempt to break the Jules Verne Trophy, Banque Populaire has just been through a complete check-up by the team's technicians, designers, VPLP and builders, CDK. This meticulous inspection of the 40m trimaran has detected, despite a very satisfactory general state, a small problem on the aft beam. The time required to repair such damage means that setting sail on a second attempt at the beginning of March won't happen. With this situation and meteorological constraints, Banque Populaire, Pascal Bidegorry and the whole crew have decided to take the time required to undertake all the necessary work and to next go on stand-by for their next attempt on the non-stop round the world record from next November.

Even though the crew was happy to be back on terra firma last Sunday, on the pontoons of the submarine base of Keroman, a desire to make a fresh attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy was in all the sailors’ minds.

The initial cursory check of the trimaran indicated that roughly ten days would be necessary to return Banque Populaire to the race track but three days of painstaking investigation, one single detail compromised this timetable for repairs: damage on the aft cross beam fairing which extends further than the initial inspection revealed. After an extensive look at the area, it appears that further diagnosis will have to be carried out. This will take some time before actually repairing it, which will also take several days.

Pierre-Emmanuel Hérissé, technical manager of the Banque Populaire team, was in charge of the examination: "The boat came back in a great general condition, but the additional inspection we need to do on the aft beam, along with weather constraints with the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere, does not the time frame originally set. Thus, we must leave us a little longer than expected, which is a collective decision we took with the designers."

This decision is fully supported by Banque Populaire, as confirmed by Chantal Petrachi, Communications Director of the Group: "Tenacity and pugnacity have always characterised Banque Populaire. If there had been one tiny opportunity to depart again, we would obviously have seized it. We really thank the whole Banque Populaire Team, who mobilised so quickly to take the slightest opportunity for a new start. It is not trivial to spend 30 days at sea and it is quite normal to conduct a full check-up of the boat and you have to listen to the verdict. We have always respected the opinion of the technical teams and of sailors. Once you have to list the repairs according to the time limit, it becomes unreasonable. We always said that we would try to get the Jules Verne Trophy during three seasons. This first attempt was very positive and we all come out grown-up. We saw the boat’s capacity, the crew’s management over a long period, the popularity and the fascination it has generated internally and to the general public and we will depart next season with an even stronger determination".

In a few months, the Team Banque Populaire will head again on this record around the world, determined to write their story on the Jules Verne Trophy. In the meantime, between training and the optimization of the Maxi, the time should pass quickly for Pascal Bidégorry and his crew.

Latest Comments

  • David Bains 02/03/2011 - 11:19

    I know it's too late in the season to start again after repairs. However I think at only one attempt in two seasons, are the Banque getting value for money!? Allowing the team to wait this long for the "ideal" weather window, which in reality does not exist, does seem overindulgent. They must take the view that there's no such thing as bad publicity! In fact the return trip with the short board was fast enough to suggest they had a chance if they'd continued, but no doubt Pascal made the right call.

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