Loick Peyron, hero by accident at Route du Rhum


Frenchman Loick Peyron aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire won the legendary Route du Rhum from Saint-Malo France to Pointe-a-Pitre arriving at 4h08’32” local time breaking the race record in 7 days 15 hours 8 minutes and 32 seconds, after 3542 miles of Atlantic Ocean, improving by more than two hours the previous record (7 days, 17 hours, 19 minutes and 6 seconds, set in 2006 by Lionel Lemonchois aboard Gitana).

And to think that a completely different Route du Rhum was being announced for the old fox: Peyron was to take part in the Route du Rhum aboard the twin trimaran Olympus with which Mike Birch won the 1978 edition of the race. However, the great 37-year-old sailor Armel Le Cleac’h, skipper of the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire VII, seriously injured a hand and had to be replaced. In his place comes his oldest friend Loïck, 55 in December. For a racing “vixen” like him, the chance to play for victory on a maxi trimaran probably proved far more enticing than some sort of “historical reenactment.” Then again, in 2012 aboard Banque Populaire V, he won the Jules Verne Trophy (awarded to the person who circumnavigates the world fastest under sail, regardless of the type of sailboat employed-Peyron took 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds).

pey 3Also arriving in Guadeloupe behind Peyron in the Ultime category are Yann Guichard, on the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2 (the old Banque Populaire V, 40 meters long and 23 meters wide) and Sebastien Josse, aboard Edmond De Rothschild (Multi 70).

Peyron is one of the most accomplished and famous sailors in France: among his many achievements are the overall record at the Fastnet in 2011 on Banque Populaire V (1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds) and America’s Cup campaigns aboard Alinghi and Artemis as well as numerous ocean races.




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