French duo Armel Le Cléac’h and Sébastien Josse sailing Maxi Banque Populaire XI crossed the finish line of the 16th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre off Fort de France, Martinique at 18h19 local time (23h19 UTC) this Sunday evening to win the ULTIM division for 33m multihulls (subject to Jury verifications).
The biennial, double handed classic ‘Coffee Route’ Race – which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary – started from Le Havre, France on Sunday 29th October and took the five strong ULTIM class on a 7,500 miles course south to round Ascension Island before turning back northwards to skirt the South American coast and finish in Martinique.
The elapsed time for the Banque Populaire XI duo is 14 days 10 hours 14 minutes 50s. They sailed the theoretical course at an average speed of 21,66 knots.
They actually sailed 9263 nautical miles on the water at an average speed of 26,75 knots.
Banque Populaire XI has led since Ascension Island and was never overtaken since the most southerly mark of the course. When Le Cléac’h and Josse finished their nearest rivals, second placed SVR Lazartigue (François Gabart and Tom Laperche) were just over 180 nautical miles behind. On his seventh challenge it is the first time the 2016-17 Vendée Globe winner Le Cléach has triumphed on the Coffee Route race whilst Josse won the 2013 Multihull race as skipper of the MOD 70 Edmond de Rothschild, sailing with Charles Caudrélier.