The team has not managed to find the right weather window to make an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy
Since last November, Pascal Bidegorry and his team have been waiting for the right opportunity to make an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy (along side Groupama 3 who set off on 1 February and are currently 250 miles ahead of the reference time).
Despite being on stand-by for the last four months, Team Banque Populaire has not managed to find the best conditions, and has thus decided to reschedule their crewed, round-the-world attempt until autumn.
The disappointment has been huge. Even though some weather forecasts were seriously considered, major deterioration of systems forced Pascal Bidegorry and his team to wait longer. Ronan Lucas, Team Manager, commented on putting an end to the stand-by period: “The disappointment is huge even if we are only postponing it. Until mid-December we were quite demanding, and we were only looking at conditions that could at least bring us at equal time with Orange 2 at the Cape of Good Hope. We had three months ahead of us and it was normal to expect something better and put all the chances on our side to, first complete the round but also to achieve a performance. Then we watched the slightest opportunity, as we wanted to leave, but there were none, except “boat-breaking” ones and no way to leave under those conditions! We did not want to leave either in a spirit of “there we go, we’ll see what happens” neither with “double or quits” conditions.
“We are responsible for this project and we do not want to jeopardize it. The shame is that we were sure to get an opportunity to leave even with less favorable conditions, but nothing turned up since 15 December. The boat was launched a year and half ago, the project is still new and we are lucky to have some time ahead and to be chasing records until 2012.”
Pascal Bidegorry added: “our project is still new, and we will chase the Jules Verne trophy this year, the soonest. We have a schedule to follow, and have some public relations campaigns planned in the Mediterranean. We really could not go further in term of deadline. The only regret I have is that we did not get to sail this winter and that was the goal of the whole work provided by the team beforehand. We will carry on the work to prepare at its best our departure in a few months with even more determination.”
For more, visit www.voile.banquepopulaire.fr