Updated 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb 13:
Just as we hit publish on this story we learned that the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has abandoned its attempt to capture the Jules Verne Trophy due to engine damage. The website report stated: “Leaving Ouessant this Sunday at the start of the afternoon for a new attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy, the round the world sailing record, the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild announces this evening to turn around and return to their home port in Lorient to repair damage to an element of its generator (engine).”
“Faced with this atypical technical problem, which they can in no way solve at sea, Charles Caudrelier, Franck Cammas and their four crew unfortunately have no choice but to stop their attempt to return to Lorient as quickly as possible. The objective is now to repair in order to be able to wait for a favorable weather window as soon as possible. As a reminder, Gitana Team had announced a stand-by until the end of February, beginning of March, which hopefully still leaves great opportunities.”
A new attempt to break the current record for the Jules Verne Trophy got underway on Sunday when the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the start line off the island of Ushant, at 13h 9min 30s UTC. The current record is 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes, set in 2017 by Francis Joyon and the men of IDEC. To beat the record they will have to make it back to Brest and the Créac’h Lighthouse before March 25, 2023, at 12h 38min 59s UTC.
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild demonstrated her winning abilities when she won November’s Route du Rhum race from France to Guadeloupe.
To win the Jules Verne Trophy, clock the fastest circumnavigation time by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, and choose whenever you want to start. The entire voyage must be accomplished exclusively by the natural forces of the wind and the crew. And, the route must entail keeping the capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn to port.
The original record was set in 1993, when Bruno Peyron set up aboard the Explorer catamaran to attempt to sail around the world in less than 80 days. This was a mark set by the character Phileas Fogg in the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days. Explorer’s initial time just barely beat that 80-day mark in their first attempt, finishing in 79 days 6 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds. Now, 30 years later, the time has dropped almost 40 days and is considerably harder to beat. You can follow the attempt on the Gitana Team Tracker here.