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Route du Rhum Record Falls

Loïck Peyron completed the Route du Rhum more than half a day ahead of his nearest competition, crossing the finish line just past midnight in Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Despite the hour, the quay was crowded with locals, excited to greet the victorious skipper. The second finisher, Yann Guichard on Spindrift 2, arrived while we were writing this story, at 14:18:46 local time.

About the extreme conditions in the race, Loïck Peyron said, "I was able to sail the boat well but was scared."

© 2014 Alexis Courcoux

The singlehanded race started on November 2 in Saint-Malo, France. Peyron sailed the 103-ft Ultime trimaran Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII across the 3,542-mile course at an average speed of nearly 20 knots in 7d 15h 8m 32s. (The record was previously set in 2006 by Lionel Lemonchois, who finished in 7d 17h 9m.)

This was Loïck’s 49th Atlantic crossing and 18th solo voyage. He’s the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest lap of the planet. He was a last minute substitution on Banque Populaire VII, filling in for the injured Armel Le Cléac’h. "This is an exceptional situation, to stand in for Armel and to be able to skipper such a beautiful boat. This victory is thanks to Team Banque Populaire — as a whole team we did this." In 2010, the last edition, Franck Cammas won the Route du Rhum on the same boat when it was called Groupama 3.

According to Artemis Racing team manager Iain Percy, Peyron plans to return to the team base in Alameda, where he’s a designer, in a few days.


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