After Thomas Coville shattered the solo round-the-world record, and a Vendée Globe in which Armel Le Cléac’h and Alex Thomson both finished several days under the record for a solo monohull to circumnavigate the globe, it was with bated breath that we followed IDEC Sport’s attempt at the Trophée Jules Verne record. Coming up the Atlantic, the crew was well ahead of Banque Populaire V’s pace of 45 days, 13 hours. To our amazement, in the North Atlantic, the crew was again blessed with phenomenal weather conditions, allowing them to sail downwind toward the finish in strong southerly winds instead of the traditional long arc around the Azores High. Shaving additional days off the record time, Francis Joyon and his five crewmembers have finished their circumnavigation and claimed the trophy as the fastest sailboat to ever circumnavigate the globe. They didn’t just break the record either — they destroyed it, knocking well over four days off the reference time and dropping the new mark to 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, with an average on-water speed of 26.85 knots.
This record truly hits home for us at Latitude 38. Many readers will remember when the same boat graced the waters of San Francisco Bay wearing the colors of Lending Club 2, skippered by Ryan Breymaier and sponsored by the large San Francisco-based online credit marketplace. Sailing the Bay for some five weeks of corporate hospitality and sharing the thrill of a maxi-trimaran with more than 1,000 people — employees, VIPs, guests and journalists — Lending Club 2 will always be special to us. In the colors of Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII, Lending Club 2 and now IDEC Sport, this special boat has now claimed the TJV twice, the Route du Rhum twice, the Transpac record, Bermuda record and much, much more. We have no clue what’s next, but something tells us the boat won’t be mothballed anytime soon.