Saturday, 9 July 2011

Rolex Fastnet Race : World's Largest Ocean-Going Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V Enters

Banque Populaire V will be joined by two new MOD 70s in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2011

Banque Populaire V. Image copyright B. Stichelbaut/BPCE.

by Trish Jenkins

Brian Thompson from Southampton, UK, has notched up more multihull sailing miles than any other Briton and has amassed 25 sailing records in the process. For the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race, Brian will be racing on the giant maxi Banque Populaire V, Skippered by the legendary Loick Peyron, the 140-foot trimaran is hot favourite to take line honours and the course record for the Rolex Fastnet Race in the multihull division. The Royal Ocean Racing Club has permitted these ocean giants to enter the race, something that Brian Thompson applauds:

Brian Thompson (GBR), trimmer/helmsman on Banque Populaire V. Image copyright B. Stichelbaut/BPCE

Loick Peyron, skipper, Banque Populaire V. Image copyright B. Stichelbaut/BPCE

"I think it is really fantastic that RORC have opened up the event, it is a real celebration of sailing to see a Sigma 33 on the same race course as Banque Populaire. I don't think there has ever been a major ocean race like this one with such a diversity of boats. All credit to RORC for making it such an open event."

Two new MOD 70s, Race for Water and Veolia Environnement, will also compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2011. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Sea&Co

"It is really valuable to get Banque Populaire into race mode, there are two brand new MOD 70s, which will be really quick, we are twice their length but in light air they could be good. We are set up to go around the world non-stop with the prevailing winds but even upwind, we are very efficient as we have trim tabs, dagger boards, a canting mast, so we have all the right kit. When you see Banque Populaire at the start, you will see how amazing she is, it is a pleasure for me, every time we go out.

Video portrait of Brian Thompson (GBR) on board Banque Populaire V

"Personally I have been on board doing 45 knots and the top speed recorded is 47 knots. I hope that we will beat the record, the average speed we need to break the round the world record is 24.5 knots and the Fastnet should be a lot faster because we should have more guaranteed weather but if it is a drifter there is no way we could get the record. The ideal conditions for the boat would be a wind angle of 110-125 true wind angle, we could then be sailing at 1.8 times the wind speed at times, say 25 knots of boat speed in 15 knots of wind. We will probably have a crew of fifteen plus Digby Fox who will be filming on board, last time he did the race in an old gaff rigged Pilot Cutter, Morwenna and we hope that we will be able to get him round a bit quicker this time!"

Banque Populaire V
Rolex Fastnet Race