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Maxi-tri hopes to break transatlantic record

Jun 30, 2009
Weather will be the deciding factor in a bid by the crew of French trimaran Banque Populaire V to break the transatlantic sailing speed record.  In order to crack the established mark of 4 days 3 hours 57 minutes 54 seconds&mdashset in 2007 by legendary French sailor Franck Cammas aboard the trimaran Groupma&mdashthe team will need to coordinate their depature from New York with a low-pressure system of sufficient strength to propel them close to their 40-knot top speed.

From the New York Times:

If the Maxi Banque Populaire V gets some wind, it is capable of breaking the record. But there are a number of factors that must align for a successful run: the weather window has to be right, the crew has to have the proper chemistry, and the boat has to hold up. But the main issue for Bidégorry &mdash a crew member on the Orange 2, which set the North Atlantic record in 2006 &mdash is avoiding obstacles like ice, wood, sharks and whales, especially at night.

"With this generation of boats that often go over 40 knots, the threat is hitting something," Bidégorry said Saturday through an interpreter. "We've been sailing this boat for over a year and we're constantly stressed about hitting something."

He added: "The ocean is the opposite of luck."

If he can get a little luck, Bidégorry said he expected that the Maxi Bank Populaire V would reach England in less than four days.

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