Battle of the Titans: Jules Verne Trophy

Two of the largest, fastest trimarans in the world departed yesterday to do battle for the Jules Verne Trophy.

IDEC Sport

Spindrift 2

On Sunday, two of the fastest multihulls on the water crossed an imaginary line between Créac'h lighthouse, France and Lizard Point, England to being a round-the-world showdown that will last more than 45 days. Or hopefully not... The two massive trimarans, Spindrift 2, led by Yann Guichard, and IDEC Sport led by Francis Joyon, are both hoping to take down the current Jules Verne record of 45d 13h 42m 53s set by Loick Peyron four years earlier.

Peyron set the current record aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, the very same platform that Guichard will be hoping to take down his record aboard. In 2013, Spindrift racing acquired Banque Populaire, and after some refit work including shortening the mast and losing two tons of weight, Spindrift was relaunched as the world's largest racing trimaran and began taking down records.

Much like Spindrift, Joyon will be aboard another proven maxi trimaran and an ex-Banque Populaire as well. Launched as Groupama 3, Franck Cammas held the Jules Verne trophy with it until Banque Populaire V took the throne two years later. The boat went on to have a successful career as Banque Populaire VII, taking home several Route du Rhum records, and most recently as Lending Club 2, which set 3 new speed sailing records this past summer under Renauld Laplanche.

To beat the record, one of the two monster trimarans must return to Ushant at least 1 minute quicker than the previous time, as per the World Speed Sailing Record Council rules. Between now and then, the sailors will race around the world via the three capes – Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn.