TRACY EDWARDS - Royal Sun Alliance 1998


The Jules Verne Trophée - Sailing Circumnavigation Competition


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TROPHÉE: JULES VERNE - is a race with a prescribed set of rules, limited to sailing yachts, and a predetermined course. The event pitches unlimited yacht designs with unlimited crew numbers against one another at any time of the year, not as an organized race, but an attempt (event) to suit the competitor. No holds barred. So improving on the speeds of previous title holders.





In 1998 Tracy Edwards and Royal Sun Alliance attempted to win the Jules Verne Trophée aboard a 92 foot catamaran.


In 1998 Tracy put together the first all-female crew to race a Multihull, this time in an attempt to be the first all-female crew to sail around the world non-stop and win the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the world by sail. Sponsored by Royal & SunAlliance, the women had broken five world records and were well on the way to beating the Jules Verne, when their 92ft catamaran was dismasted 2000 miles off the coast of Chile.





TROPHÉE: JULES VERNE - The current record holder is the IDEC Sport skippered by Francis Joyon, from 2017, set a blistering time of just under 41 days.




BBC 27 MARCH 2002

Tracy Edwards believes her Maiden II crew could shatter not only the Jules Verne round-the-world record but beat Grant Dalton's mark of 62 days to lap the planet.


Dalton set the mark in The Race - also a sprint around the globe but not eligible for the Jules Verne record because it begins in Barcelona and finishes in Marseille.

The route for an official attempt on the round-the-world record is east-about from a start-finish line between England's Lizard Point and Ushant in France, leaving all the Capes to the left.

British yachtswoman Edwards is preparing for a second attempt at the Jules Verne trophy next winter after her 1998 all-female bid ended in disaster.

Edwards and her crew on Royal and Sun Alliance were dismasted in the Southern Ocean while trying to better Frenchman Olivier de Kersauson's time of 71 days 14 hours set in 1997.

Four years later - and having acquired Dalton's 110-foot catamaran Club Med - Edwards believes the New Zealander's mark is also under threat.

"Grant always said when we discussed buying his boat that he could have gone faster if he had the right sail budget and right sail development," Edwards told BBC Sport Online.

"Sail technology has moved on in leaps and bounds even in the year since they did The Race and we believe a good sail development plan could put some extra knots on the boat."

During Edwards' last ill-fated attempt, the crew were ahead of schedule after breaking a host of records.

But 43 days into the race, the mast was broken by 40-foot waves and 55mph winds in the Southern Ocean between New Zealand and Cape Horn, 2,000 miles from land.

Royal and Sun Alliance took 16 days to limp to Chile under jury rig but Edwards knew they would be back.

"It's unfinished business," she said.

"We had plans to do it again quite quickly but we had to wait because we couldn't buy the boat we wanted.

"The girls all had different projects, while I had my daughter, wrote a book and set up a motivational company.

"But when Club Med came on the market last summer it was the chance to go for it again which we had always intended to do."

Maiden II will go on standby for an appropriate weather window between November and March.

In the meantime five more crew will be added to the existing 11 from the 1998 attempt.

Edwards skippered the first all-female crew on Maiden in the 1989-90 Whitbread round-the-world race.

But she insists that once this Jules Verne attempt is over she will be finished with championing the women-only cause.

"We were the first all-girl crew to go round with stops and we will be the first to go round without stops and that's a nice end to the chapter."





Tracy took part in her first Whitbread Round the World Race as cook aboard ‘Atlantic Privateer’ in 1985/86 becoming the first woman to race around the world on a Maxi.

Upon completion she decided to enter the first all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread and ‘Maiden’ crossed the start line on 2nd Sept 1989 and sailed into the history books. ‘Maiden’ went on to win two of the legs and came second in class overall. The best result for a British boat since 1977 and the best result for an all-female crew ever. Tracy was awarded the MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

In 2002, Edwards created the first ever truly mixed gender team and broke four major world records in Maiden II.

In October 2003 she signed a sponsorship deal with the Gulf State of Qatar as part of a four year sailing programme. The Oryx Quest 2005 was the first round the world race to start and finish in the Middle East. The worlds’ four largest and fastest multihulls raced against each other for the first time in sailing history. The event ended with non-payment by Qatar. A lesson to us all, to get paid up-front, if at all possible, especially when dealing overseas.




2017 – Francis Joyon / IDEC SPORT (31.5m) – 40:23:30:30 (3 attempts) current record holder
2012 – Loïck Peyron / Banque Populaire V (40m) – 45:13:42:53
2010 – Franck Cammas / Groupama 3 (31.5m) – 48:07:44:52 (4 attempts)
2005 – Bruno Peyron / Orange II (36.8m) – 50:16:20:04 (6 attempts)
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 (5 attempts)
1994 – Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston / Enza New Zealand (28m) – 74:22:17:22 (2 attempts)
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 - Spindrift
2015 - Dona Bertarelli & Yann Guichard / 1 attempt - Spindrift
2011 - Pascal Bidégorry / 1st attempt - Bank Populaire
2003 - Ellen MacArthur / 1 attempt - Kingfisher II
1998 - Tracy Edwards / 1 attempt - Royal Sun Alliance










Musée de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot
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The father of sceince fiction, Jules Verne



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