Destination New York: Queen Mary 2 vs. world's fastest trimarans

    Story highlights

    • QM2 journey marked 100 years since American troops landed in France.
    • Transatlantic race pitted trimerans vs. 150,000 ton vessel.

    (CNN)In any given year, the mammoth cruise liner Queen Mary 2 will cross the Atlantic dozens of times.

    But last month, the 150,000-ton vessel set sail on unique journey, racing four lightweight trimarans from Saint-Nazaire in western France to New York.
      The race, known as The Bridge 2017 Centennial Transat, marked a century since American soldiers first landed in France during World War I.
      With a capacity of up to nearly 2,700 passengers, the QM2 took a more direct route to New York, landing in five and a half days with an average speed of 22.67 knots.
      Meanwhile, Macif, the fastest of the trimarans captained by Francois Gabart, reached New York in 8 days, 31 minutes and 20 seconds. The trimarans were forced to take alternate routes due to risk of encountering icebergs and extreme weather.
      "This race is historic, it's the first time these boats have raced together and I'm sure this is the future for sailing," Gabart told Yachting & Boating World. "To be part of this is unbelievable because we are just at the start."
      The other three trimarans featured Sodebo, skippered by Thomas Coville, Ldec, led by Francis Joyon, and Actual, steered by Yves Le Blevec.
      The race was just part of The Bridge, which was a celebration of French and American culture.
      Festivities included the 3x3 basketball World Cup in Nice as well as a host of musical events.
      "France and the the United States, this project speaks to me," said Tony Parker, a French NBA star who has played in the US since 2001 and was one of the event's sponsors.
      "It is also a little nod to history to say thank you for everything that happened before. It makes complete sense to me to be involved as I fully identify with The Bridge."