Banque Populaire V hits unidentified object - Brian Thompson reports

Banque Populaire V repairs in progress
Brian Thompson is a crew member aboard the Maxi Trimiran Banque Populaire V, attempting to break Groupama's 'fully crewed' Jules Verne Trophy record.

Here Brian reports on the 'crash' with an unidentified object and subsequent repairs.


Brian Thompson:

Just a quick update as you can imagine it is quite busy here with sailing the boat, and at the same time undertaking a big boatbuilding job on the deck.

The night before last I was on the helm doing a steady 37 knots when bang, we hit an unidentified object, which broke off the sacrificial tip of the daggerboard plus some of the main structure above, which includes a main vertical beam with 55mm of solid carbon on each side of a wood core. The night was pich black so no way to see or avoid the object.

That night, after backing down to remove any debris, we carried on, with extra vibration of course from the board. The next day, yesterday was windy so we carried on fast, though purposely flew the hull 5m in the air at one point to see the state of the board. We were surprised at the extent of the damage, it was more serious than expected and we knew there was a big repair ahead.

Banque Populaire V repairs in progress
Last night the wind dropped, unfortunately for our lead over Groupama, but it has given us perfect conditions to extract the 600kg board and start repairs: Yvon and Pym are doing an outstanding job and are going to be working through the night: The broken bits are now cut off and a complex capping needs to be put in place over the cut end to withstand 40 knots of boatspeed.

All we can do now is try to get the repair done properly and find the wind again..

Right, I am cooking dinner tonight; so better go and serve it up, so will write more when able..

Brian Thompson Sailing website