Read Brian Thompson's fascinating technical update from onboard the 40 metre trimaran

Read the following update were from British yachtsman Brian Thompson (48), crewman onboard maxi trimiran Banque Populaire V during their Jules Verne Trophy Record attempt:

“Its day 6 of the Jules Verne record attempt on BPV, and we are now sailing in the SE Trades, having crossed the doldrums and the equator in the last 24 hours. All is well on board with the boat and the crew, and we are level pegging with the record time set last year to the equator.
The boat has been designed and built for record breaking and for this record above all others. It’s a five year timeline to get these SE Trades from when BP first decided to do this project after many successful years backing Pascal B in Figaro and then ORMA 60 tris.
The boat, designed by VPLP in Vannes is a 40m trimaran, relatively longer and narrower than a 60 foot trimaran so that it handles bigger seas without nose diving. The long slender bows pierce the waves and give enormous fore and aft stability. That is a godsend in strong downwind conditions as a strong nose dive can lead to an almost instant forward cartwheel as you often see in the Extreme 40 classes. We can see speeds of 45 knots downwind, and as a wave might be travelling at 20 knots, there is a closing velocity of 25 knots. Its fast powerboat speeds in seas that no powerboat would be out in.

Being relatively narrow for the length and weight of the boat means that we can fly the main hull quite easily, so although pitchpoling is cleverly designed out of the picture, a leeward capsize is a possibility, and we are always attentive to that. There are a minimum of 4 on deck at any time, one steering; one holding the traveller; one holding the headsail sheet and one the mainsheet, all those 3 trimmers are watching the instruments; the heel angle of the boat and listening for warnings from the helm. Day and night we are trying to keep the boat just touching the main hull in the water, fully powered up, balancing the weight of the boat against the pressure in the sails.
I will be sending you more technical updates during the voyage..”

Update at 07:30 31 January. Position 24S 38W
Leaving the tropics now after five days in the heat – it’s just getting a little cooler in the cabin. It was pretty steamy in the forward cabin with 12 people taking turns sleeping in the four bunks, and no fans, just a little ventilation from the daggerboard compartment just forward.
Yesterday afternoon, Florent went up in the outside of the mast for a check, whilst Kevin went up the inside of the mast to see any possible problems on the inside. The mast tube is enormous, easily room for a big lad like Kevin. Nothing amiss on the mast, and the next mast check might not be till after Cape Horn in flatter waters again.
Past Rio now and still heading South in order to meet a low pressure system that is forecast to take us all the way across the South Atlantic and on past the Cape of Good Hope. We are awaiting this expres train to pull into the station, we have bought our tickets and are ready to depart, hopefully in the next 24 hours, but there may be leaves on the track or the wrong kind of snow.

Surprising how few birds have seen so far, not one bird from the start till just before the doldrums when we saw a couple of tiny black petrels. Looking forward to seeing the soaring Albatrosses in a few days.

On watch again now in three minutes…better press the envoyer/recevoir button