Jules Verne: New Atlantic descent record

Published on January 21st, 2021

(January 21, 2021; Day 12) – By leaving the longitude of Cape Agulhas in her wake today at 15:37:53 UTC, the 32m Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has officially entered the Indian Ocean in their pursuit of the Jules Verne Trophy.

After 11 days 14 hours and 3 minutes at sea, co-skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier and their four crew are attacking the southern latitudes with a lead of more than 1 day 7 hours and 19 minutes over Francis Joyon and the men on Idec Sport.

In so doing, they also have become the fastest sailors in history on this descent of the Atlantic, an achievement they dedicate to Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, founder and owner of the Gitana Team, who passed away January 15 following a heart attack at his home in Pregny, Switzerland.

When the team passed the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, they improved on the reference time set by the crew on Banque Populaire in 2012 in the Jules Verne Trophy by 11 hours and 55 minutes.

Additionally, they bettered the outright record for this section of the course was held by a solo sailor with a time of 11 days 20 hours and 10 minutes. The latter was François Gabart who, in 2017, posted a staggering performance to the tip of South Africa.

“Less than 11 days 10 hours to get to Good Hope is great going, which means that it was a favorable weather window and we were right to snap it up,” remarked Cammas. “That said, we still feel like we lost some time along the way, especially in the doldrums, but we’re happy to be here and to be posting these speeds. Now comes the hard part.”

The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is navigating the first miles of her career in the Indian Ocean, as is the case for David Boileau and Morgan Lagravière. However, the crew is all too aware, this is where things start to get serious.

The first reason for this is that over this long section of the course in the Southern Ocean, Francis Joyon and his crew were brilliant and clearly broke new ground in relation to the Trophy thanks to a trajectory bordering on perfection; namely 5 days 21 hours to devour the Indian Ocean and then 7 days 21 hours till they made Cape Horn. The second reason is that the men of Gitana Team are plunging down towards latitudes which are never a trivial matter.

“It’s a fine first reference time since it’s the outright record over this course between Ushant and the tip of South Africa,” notes Caudrelier. “Even though it’s a record that doesn’t really count for a lot; it’s important for us because it has enabled us to complete this passage with a lead of nearly one and a half days over the Jules Verne Trophy record held by Francis Joyon and that’s the objective we set ourselves.

“After that, Francis enjoyed a completely crazy Southern Ocean and we have very little chance of finding such conditions. Moreover, we won’t have such a quick Indian Ocean, so we’re delighted to have this cushion which, to my mind, is barely enough to stay ahead of him or level with him by the time we exit.

“As a result, our primary objective has been quite successful! On top of that, the boat is in tip-top condition and that’s the main thing!”

Since January 15, Gitana Team, the offshore racing stable he founded with his wife Ariane de Rothschild in 2000, has been mourning the loss of its owner.

“The wake of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild will punctuate the history of flying boats and offshore racing,” stated Cyril Dardashti, director of Gitana. “We could never thank Benjamin de Rothschild enough for having enabled us to embark on this incredible adventure and for having believed in this project and in our team to make it a reality. He managed to transform his heritage with boldness and passion. Every day we remember how lucky we are to be a part of this story and to have a chance to add new pages to this quite unique lineage.”

Position of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild on 21 January at 16h45 UTC:
Lead in relation to the record: 861.6 nm
Speed: 24.1 knots
Course: 141°

Team informationTrackerFacebook

Since their start on January 10 at 01:33 UTC, to beat the round the world record of 40:23:30 set in 2017 by Francis Joyon and the crew of Idec Sport, they must finish prior to February 20 at 00:03:15 UTC.

Crew list:
Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, skippers
David Boileau, trimmer/bowman
Erwan Israël, helm/trimmer
Morgan Lagravière, helm/trimmer
Yann Riou, trimmer/media man

Source: Gitana Team


The rules for the Jules Verne Trophy are simple – it is for the fastest time around the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall. It was first won in 1993, with all nine winners as either catamarans or trimarans. The current challenge is to beat the record time of 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds set by Francis Joyon and crew on the 31.5m IDEC Sport in 2017.

Record Facts
• Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ushant) and Lizard Point (England)
• Course: non-stop around-the-world tour racing without outside assistance via the three Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn)
• Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
• Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council, www.sailspeedrecords.com
• Time to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds
• Average speed: 21.96 knots
• Date of current record: January 2017
• Holder: IDEC SPORT, Francis Joyon and a 5-man crew

Split Time References – Full Crew:
Ushant-Equator: 4d 20h 07 ‘(Spindrift 2 in 2019)
Equator-Cape Aiguilles: 6d 08h 55 ‘(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Cape Aiguilles-Cape Leeuwin: 4d 09h 32 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Leuuwin-Cape Horn: 9d 08h 46 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)
Cape Horn-Equator: 7d 04h 27 ‘(Banque Populaire V in 2012)
Equator-Ushant: 5d 19h 21 ‘(IDEC Sport in 2017)

Here are the nine that have held the trophy:
2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04
2004 – Olivier De Kersauson / Geronimo (33.8m) – 63:13:59:46
2002 – Bruno Peyron / Orange (32.8m) – 64:08:37:24
1997 – Olivier De Kersauson / Sport-Elec (27.3m) – 71:14:22:08
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22
1993 – Bruno Peyron / Commodore Explorer (28m) – 79:06:15:56

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