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Jules Verne Trophee, at the National Maritime Museum in Paris



SAILING RACE: The official language of the “Jules Verne Trophy” is French. The French version of these rules shall prevail over any other version in other languages.






In Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne's protagonist, Phileas Fogg, proffered that a man could circumnavigate the globe in under 80 days, by way of a wager. This wonderful work of fiction inspired a group of sailors to offer a trophy for the fastest sailing yacht to circumnavigate the world. A fee is payable for entry by any potential competitor, who must adhere to the rules - that are very broad - the concept being to promote, rather than restrict yacht innovation.


Yacht racing did little to improve the performance of commercial cargo or cruise ships, until sail power was again brought back into play as a way of reducing heavy diesel oil bunker fuels. With Formula 1 in motorsport, the developments slowly trickled down to our family hatchbacks, but not to heavy goods vehicles. The sails used on commercial ships may well benefit from research into making yachts go faster, but hydrofoils are thought to be out of the question for such heavy craft, being impractical.


The one thing not in favour of sail, is keeping to schedules. Records that are set by sail, are in exceptional weather conditions. When it comes to keeping time regularly, motorized vessels seem to be the only way.


The original idea for the French competition has been attributed to Yves Le Cornec in 1985. The rules were defined in 1990. A committee was subsequently put in place to guarantee respect of the rules and fair play. This committee included Peter Blake, Florence Arthaud, Jean François Coste, Yvon Fauconnier, Gabrie Guilly, Robin Knox-Johnston, Titouan Lamazou, Yves Le Cornec, Bruno Peyron, Olivier de Kersauson, and Didier Ragot.







While the current holder of the trophy, Francis Joyon, also holds the around the world sailing record, this has not always been the case. In 2004 Steve Fossett broke the world record with the catamaran Cheyenne but was not awarded the trophy. According to reports, the trophy organizers requested a higher entrance fee from Fossett than from other competitors, the difference, which he refused to pay. How and why such difficulty came about is unclear, but may have been to do with US red tape, or other EU administrative non-meshing. The winner of the trophy that year was Olivier de Kersauson on Geronimo, with a time which was five days slower than Fossett's world sailing record.


In essence, the rules for the Jules Verne Trophy are to navigate the fastest time around the world using any type of sail propelled yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew, starting and finishing from the exact line between the Le Créac’h Lighthouse off the tip of Brittany and the Lizard Point in Cornwall.


The event was first won in 1993. All nine winners have been either catamarans or trimarans. The current challenge is to beat the record time of 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds set by Francis Joyon and crew on the 31.5m IDEC Sport in 2017.





STOP PRESS: In July 2023, Joan Mulloy signed up for a Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 2025, joining Alexia Barrier’s all-female crew as they bid to secure the fastest lap of the planet under sail. The boat secured for their project is the current record holder that sailed as IDEC under Francis Joyon, formerly Banque Populaire.





2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04
2004 – Olivier De Kersauson / Geronimo (33.8m) – 63:13:59:46
2002 – Bruno Peyron / Orange (32.8m) – 64:08:37:24
1997 – Olivier De Kersauson / Sport-Elec (27.3m) – 71:14:22:08
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22
1993 – Bruno Peyron / Commodore Explorer (28m) – 79:06:15:56




2025 - Alexia Barrier / The Famous Project - CIC and IDEC

2023 - Charles Caudrelier & Franck Cammason / 2nd attempt - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild

2021 - Charles Caudrelier / Gitana Team 1st attempt - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild & Franck Cammas
2020 - Thomas Coville / Sodebo Ultim 3 1st attempt - foiling trimaran
2019, 2015 - Yann Guichard / 3 attempts
2015 - Dona Bertarelli & Yann Guichard / 1 attempt
2011 - Pascal Bidégorry / 1st attempt
2003 - Ellen MacArthur / 1 attempt
1998 - Tracy Edwards / 1 attempt




Francis Joyon took possession of the former Groupama 3 on October 2, 2015, after three weeks of work at Multiplast, in Vannes. He chose an intermediate configuration between the initial power and a reduced rigging for solo races. Closer to the lightness and ergonomics sought alone, less versatile in particular in light winds, Joyon's choices paid off during his two passages in the southern seas at the end of 2015 and again at the end of 2016, earning him numerous records. With a crew reduced to six people, IDEC Sport was ready to attempt the Jules-Verne Trophy, held since 2011 by Loïck Peyron with a time of 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.

After an attempt in November 2016 met with unfavorable weather in the doldrums and the South Atlantic, and a shock that slightly damaged her fin, Joyon set out again on December 16, 2016 to conquer the trophy. He arrived on January 26, 2017 with a new around the world sailing record of 40 days 23 h 30 min 30 s. During their 2016 attempt for the Jules-Verne Trophy, Francis Joyon and his crew broke numerous intermediate records: four have been formalized and are the subject of records duly certified by the WSSRC.

They made quick crossings of the southern seas starting with the Indian Ocean, covering 8091,73 miles in 10 days (an average of 809 miles per day). This episode began ahead of the front of a depression which moved at a speed corresponding to the boat's potential from South America to the Pacific Ocean. During 12 days, the wind remained port tack, blowing constantly at over 30 knots, an ideal configuration for speed records. Top speeds varied between 38 and 44 knots. Due to bad seas, their speed dropped temporarily (29 knots or 700 mi (1,100 km) per day) but soon climbed back above 800 mi (1,300 km) daily.

After passing New Zealand and the Antimeridian, sailing port tack 205 degrees longitude (25 degrees West to Antimeridian) in the southern seas, the crew jibed in the transition between two depressions, and managed to catch up with the weather system in front of them over the Pacific Ocean, setting off again at more than 30 knots daily average towards Cape Horn.

Joyon rounded Cape Horn, 16 days after hitting the first left South America, after a course of nearly 12,000 mi (19,000 km) above 30 knots average (730, 16 miles per day over 16 days). He then signs a performance increase of 30 to 40% compared to Loïck Peyron's record 5 years earlier. Leaving the southern seas with a lead of 4 days 6 hours 35 min over Peyron's previous record, Joyon and his crew regained 2,800 mi (4,500 km) on the record during this stretch.

The weather conditions allowed them to optimize their course, covering 26,412 mi (42,506 km) on the ground, at an average of 26.85 knots, for a theoretical course of 22,461 mi (36,147 km). Banque Populaire V, the previous record holder, had to cover almost 2600 more miles (29,002 miles).


Other records broken during the 2016 campaign

• Boat record and the second longest distance covered by a sailboat in 24 hours with 894 miles.


• 6 consecutive days at an average of 850.7 miles / 24 h (35.45 knots)


• Ushant-Cape Leeuwin 17 d 06 h 59 min 45 (time of Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record: 17 d 23 h 57 min)


• Ushant-Tasmania 18 d 18 h 31 min (time of Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record: 20 d 07 h 11 min)


• Ushant-Antiméridien 20 d 07 h 01 (time of Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record: 22 d 11 h 34 min)


• Ushant-Cape Horn: 26 d 15 h 45 min (time of Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record: 30 d 22 h 19 min)


• Ecuador - Cape Leeuwin: 11 d 12 h (time of Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record: 12 d 9 h 2 min)


• Cape Agulhas-cape Leeuwin in 4 days 9 h 37 min 46 at an average speed of 35.08 knots over ground (3,705 miles) or 842 miles in 24 hours (6 days 8 min or 36% more for Loïck Peyron's previous record)


• Cape Leeuwin - Cape Horn in 9 d 08 h 46 min (12 d 22 h 22 min or 38% more for Loïck Peyron's previous record)


• Cape of Good Hope - Cape Horn in 13 d 20 h 13 min (19 d 00 h 31 min or 37% more for Loïck Peyron's previous record)


• Cape of Good Hope - Cape Leeuwin: 4 d 11 h 31 min (6 d 02 h 09 min or 36% more for Loïck Peyron's previous record in 2011)


• Cap Leeuwin - Cape Horn in 9 d 08 h 46 min (12 d 22 h 22 min or 38% more for Loïck Peyron's previous record)


Indian Ocean: 5 d 21 h 7 min 45 s (WSSRC reference) (8 d 07 h 23 min or 41% more for Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record)


• Pacific Ocean: 7 d 21 h 13 min 31 s (WSSRC reference) (10 d 15 h 07 min or 39% more for Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record)


• Ecuador-Ecuador record: 29 d 9 h 10 min 55 s (WSSRC reference) (32 d 11 h 52 min or 11% more for Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record)


• North Atlantic return record: 5 d 19 h 21 min (7 d 10 h 58 min or 25% more for Loïck Peyron during the 2011 record)




• Start and finish: a line between Créac’h lighthouse (Isle of Ushant) and Lizard Point (England)
• Course: non-stop around-the-world tour racing without outside assistance via the three Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn)
• Minimum distance: 21,600 nautical miles (40,000 kilometres)
• Ratification: World Sailing Speed Record Council: www.sailspeedrecords.com
• Time to beat: 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds
• Average speed: 21.96 knots
• Date of current record: January 2017
• Holder: IDEC SPORT, Francis Joyon and a 5-man crew




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The Jules Verne Trophée is awarded to the challenger who breaks the previous Jules Verne record of the round the world voyage under sail. The winner holds the trophy until such time as his/her record has been bettered. The boats must solely be propelled by natural forces of the wind and of the crew, but the trophy is open to any type of boat with no restrictions. Crew size is not restricted either.

The circumnavigation must be completed non-stop and with no physical outside assistance, although on-shore weather routing is allowed. The challengers must respect certain safety rules.




Musée de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot
17 place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris

Email: contact@tropheejulesverne.org













The father of sceince fiction, Jules Verne



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