Francis Joyon is leaving. In a few days, he will address the prestigious North Atlantic record. Success would make him the first skipper to win the incredible “Grand Slam” of records. Joyon will be on stand-by in New York from May 15. Yesterday evening the skipper was in Paris for a great evening presentation at Pershing Hall in the presence of three of the four solo Atlantic record holders Florence Arthaud, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron, current record holder. His record will be challenged shortly by the skipper of the Maxi-trimaran IDEC.
Hold 21 knots average for less than 5 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes. Alone. On the demanding North Atlantic. That’s the challenge with the high bar set by Thomas Coville in July 2008. Francis Joyon will sail between the Statue of Liberty and the English Cornwall. To be precise between Ambrose Light in New York and that the Lizard in the south of England . In that in-between are heavy waves, winds and icebergs to content with while sailing at breakneck speeds.
Giovanni Soldini and his team ready to face winds of 25-30 knots
One day and 6 hours after crossing the starting line in front of Ambrose Light, in the bay of New York, Maserati is sailing at 20 knots toward Newfoundland. Last night went by without any problems on board but with many wind shifts caused by thunderstorms. In the past hours the wind has increased, reaching an intensity of 25-30 knots. This has allowed Maserati to sail even faster and to gain miles on the “virtual” race with Mari Cha IV, currently the world record holder of the monohull speed record from New York to England. The mapping online shows Maserati‘s position along with Mari Cha IV’s historic sail in 2003.
Tomorrow morning Maserati expects to reach the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, a critical area due to the floating icebergs and the strong winds (30 knots are expected). Cape Race, at the southeastern tip of Newfoundland, is known for its dense fog, rocky coast and the Cape Race lighthouse which was in communication with the captain of the Titanic immediately before the great ship hit an iceberg and sank.
Giovanni Soldini, on board of Maserati, writes: “I am very pleased with the new crew that is getting along really well, more than I expected. Just after a few hours, it looked like we had been sailing together for years! We have finally caught the wind we were expecting and we are keeping a southern route so that when the wind increases we will be able to move quickly east. Heading north will be easier this way. I hope we don’t come across too many floating icebergs tomorrow.”
American navigator and watch leader Brad Van Liew adds: “Life on board is getting chilly and it is wet, but nothing like when we will sail through the North Atlantic cocktail in a couple days.”
After a one month long stand-by, Maserati is likely to set sail between 10:00 p.m. this evening and 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning local time from the North Cove Marina in New York City. The goal is for Giovanni Soldini and his international team is to break the monohull sailing record from the Ambrose Lighthouse in New York to Lizard Point off the south west coast of England.
They are challenging a record set in 2003 by Robert Miller’s monohull Mary Cha IV – 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds. The 140-foot Mary Cha IV covered the 2,925 miles of the route at an average speed of 18.5 knots with 24 crew on board. Maserati, measuring 70-feet and with 8 crew on board is facing the daunting task of beating the record time of a racing yacht twice as large with three times the manpower. The extensive offshore experience on board Maserati might trump the larger yacht and team if the weather cooperates.
“The low pressure approaching finally seems to be the right one,” explains Giovanni Soldini. “This evening we will make the final decision, but I hope that the last weather forecasts will be confirmed. At the start we are expecting 25 – 30 knots of southerly winds and some thunderstorms. We will be departing just ahead of a cold front that will be coming through the New York area tomorrow morning.”
American crew member Brad Van Liew adds, “We are going to grab onto the eastern side of the front, and ride it as far as we can across the North Atlantic. The three major challenges will be the unpredictable thunderstorms out of New York, the large area of icebergs south and east of Nova Scotia with strong winds and a water temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius, and another area of uncertain weather near the finish line.”
There have been some changes in Maserati’s crew: French sailors Sebastien Audigane and Ronan Le Goff, Spanish Javier de la Plaza and British Tom Gall have joined the crew to replace some members of the team that are taking part in regattas in the Mediterranean. On board Maserati with the skipper Giovanni Soldini, are watch leader Brad Van Liew, Javier de la Plaza (helm, pit), Sebastien Audigane (helm, trimmer) Ronan Le Goff (helm, bowman), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (bowman), and Tom Gall (second bowman).
The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s website (www.maserati.soldini.it). The site contains news, videos and photos of the lifestyle of crew members on board, and provides continuous monitoring of the marine weather conditions, as well as online tracking to check the position and speed of Maserati in real time. Continuous updates are also available on Facebook (through Giovanni Soldini’s official page) and Twitter (@giovannisoldini and Brad Van Liew @BradVanLiew).
The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.
Having cheered on the first six yachts when they departed on the Transatlantic Race 2011 two days ago, the 14-strong group of yachts that will take the second of the three staggered starts now have less than 24 hours until they begin the race across the North Atlantic for themselves. The warning signal at 13:50 Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, June 29, will cue the largest group of yachts to depart, including the show-stopping Maltese Falcon, and spectators are guaranteed to see a unique sailing spectacle when the cannon is fired at Castle Hill Light.
Without doubt, tomorrow’s start will feature the most diverse battle of the race. The Open Class has just two yachts, but they are two of the showiest yachts in the race. Maltese Falcon, at 289’, is the largest yacht competing and is up against the only multihull entered in the race, Phaedo, the Gunboat 66 owned by Lloyd Thornburg (St. Barthelemy). The Lamborghini-orange catamaran and the futuristic Perini Navi will be a spectacular sight as they head off into the Atlantic.
In IRC Class Two, Jazz, a Cookson 50, has a star-studded crew including the highly experienced navigator, Mike Broughton (Hamble, U.K.), and skipper, Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.). Unfortunately, due to family commitments, owner Chris Bull is unable to make the trip. Two German teams on nearly identical yachts will also go head-to-head in the class: Christoph Avenarius and Gorm Gondesen’s Shakti and Jens Kellinghusen’s Varuna should virtually match race across the North Atlantic.
IRC Class Three will feature six yachts, including Snow Lion, the Ker 50 owned by former NYYC Commodore Lawrence Huntington (New York, N.Y.). Snow Lion is a proven winner, having won her class in the Newport Bermuda Race, and should be highly competitive on corrected time. There are, however, some real fliers in this class, not the least of which is Zaraffa, the Reichel Pugh 65 owned by Huntington Sheldon (Shelburne, Vt.), whose crew includes several veterans of the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Volvo 60 Ambersail, skippered by Simonas Steponavicius (Vilnius, Lithuania), is a much-travelled yacht having logged over 100,000 miles since being purchased in 2008 to celebrate a thousand years of Lithuanian history. After sailing around the world, Ambersail took part in the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, winning class honors and placing second overall.
The youth entry from Germany, Norddeutsche Vermoegen Hamburg, will be helmed by Eike Holst whose third Transatlantic Race will be his first as skipper. And while the majority of the team aboard the Andrews 57 are university students in their 20s, two of the crew are just 18 years old. Many of sailors in the race were introduced to the sport as a family activity, which means the parents of these sailors, in particular, have a degree of understanding and ease with the undertaking at hand. That was not the case for Jerome Vigne, the Parisian-born mechanical engineering student who will have a very relieved mother welcoming him home to Germany.
Blending a comfortable interior with the performance of an Open 60 is Ourson Rapide, the Finot-Conq 60 owned by Paolo Roasenda (Vedano al Lambro, Italy). This is a special boat that should have a dream-like ride downwind. Scho-ka-kola, named for the German chocolate confection, is a Reichel Pugh 56 owned by Uwe Lebens (Hamburg) that has completed two previous Atlantic crossings.
Prodigy, a Simonis/Voog 54, is a proven winner. Owner Chris Frost (Durban, South Africa) took line honors in the 2011 Heineken Cape to Rio Race and will compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race, as well as the Rolex Middle Sea Race, as part of a year-long campaign. Of the 10 crew on Prodigy, two – including Aaron Gillespie (Butler, N.J.) and John Fryer (New York, N.Y.) – were recruited by Frost using the “Crew Finder” feature on the event’s website. It will be Gillespie’s first Transatlantic crossing.
The two smallest yachts in start two are both Class 40s: Dragon and Concise 2, the latter skippered by Ned Collier-Wakefield (Oxford, U.K.). Tony Lawson (Haslemere, Surrey, U.K.) assembled a crew of young aspiring sailors from Great Britain to make up Team Concise. The team has become a force to be reckoned with having won the 2009 Class 40 World Championship, set a world record for the Round Britain and Ireland course and taken class honors at the RORC Caribbean 600 for the last three years.
Dragon is the only boat racing across the Atlantic double-handed. Owner Michael Hennessy (Mystic, Conn.) has been an avid sailor ever since introduced to the sport by his father at the age of four on San Francisco Bay. Following college, Hennessy logged thousands of miles cruising along the New England coast before he started to focus on short-handed distance racing in 2002. Since then he has competed in four Newport Bermuda Races, as well as dozens of other races across New England. In 2008 he took notice of the fast growing Class 40 fleet and took delivery of his Owen Clarke-designed boat. In just two short years, Dragon has become a fixture on the ocean racing circuit. Joining Hennessy will be co-skippered Rob Windsor (East Northport, N.Y.) who grew up sailing with his family on Long Island Sound.
Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.
For more information, visit http://www.transatlanticrace.org/.
The sunshine burnt off the morning fog almost on cue as the first start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 got underway with six of the smallest yachts in the fleet beginning their journey across the Atlantic. A gentle breeze wafted in from the southeast to give the competitors some champagne sailing conditions, at least for the moment — all of the yachts competing in the TR2011 know there are bound to be difficult times ahead.
Skippered by Rives Potts, Jr. (Essex, Conn.), local favorite Carina, a 48’ sloop, got away to a great start, hugging the coast to escape a knot of foul current. Onboard are four fathers and five sons, as well as the youngest crew member in the race, Dirk Johnson, Jr. (Middletown, R.I.). At just 16 years of age Johnson has been sailing since he was a baby and has always wanted to sail across an ocean. “I don’t like trimming so much as I find it hard to concentrate. But I love my position as float. I like to get involved everywhere on the boat. I have been sailing short offshore races for a while and I really wanted to do this race,” he explained. “I guess I will miss home comforts the most, especially my Mum’s lamb chops. But all of my family are sailors and this is in my blood.”
The Army Sailing Association’s British Soldier currently leads the fleet on the water and her skipper, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Bate(Falmouth, Cornwall, U.K.), was relishing the challenges that lay ahead, as he commented just before the start.
“The first goal for us is to get around Nantucket Shoals and then we’ll head into the Atlantic proper. I love the open ocean and the big rolling waves. After a day or so the crew will settle into a routine. For me, the most marvelous thing about this race is enjoying the fun and banter with the crew, you just cannot get that anywhere else. There will be difficult times ahead, but we will battle through. We know that we will get some pretty foul weather, but we know that it will improve. The crew of British Soldier are not all highly experienced offshore sailors, but they are all good characters who can keep each other entertained when the going gets tough and I think that is priceless.”
With just four crew aboard, the German entry Sasha is going extremely well. Owner Albrecht Peters and his wife Erika had a conservative start with their 42’ Olin Stephens design. Eighty years ago another Stephens design, Dorade, won the Transatlantic Race that also started in Newport (finishing in Plymouth, England), and, if the right conditions prevail, Sasha could be extremely competitive after time correction.
Hans Albrecht’s beautiful 86’ yawl, Nordwind, is the oldest boat in the race. Built in 1939, Nordwind has been fully restored by her German owners and sailed 11,000 miles to take part in the Transatlantic Race 2011.
While the high performance yachts that are yet to depart will undoubtedly grab headlines, this group of yachts is worthy of equal praise and the starting area was full of spectator boats wishing them well. The rocky outcrops and grassy hillsides along Fort Adams and Castle Hill were filled with people who cheered the boats on as they crossed the starting line at the Castle Hill Light. Once they leave the shore, it will be several weeks before these yachts will see land again.
For more information, visit http://www.transatlanticrace.org/.
More about the Transatlantic Race 2011
The Transatlantic Race 2011 charts a 2,975 nautical mile course from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, England. Pre-start activities will take place at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, while awards will be presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Cowes Castle clubhouse on the Isle of Wight. Three separate starts – June 26, June 29 and July 3 – will feature 30 boats ranging from 40 to 289 feet in length. In addition to winners in seven classes (IRC Class 1 Racer, IRC Class 2 Racer, IRC Class 3 Racer/Cruiser, IRC Class 4 Racer/Cruiser, Classic, Class 40, and Open), whichever yacht finishes the course with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark for a new racing record from Newport to Lizard Point, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council. Rolex watches will be awarded to the record holder and the overall winner (on corrected time) under IRC.
The Transatlantic Race 2011 is also the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), which includes the Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race, RORC Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Biscay Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Of the seven races in the AORS, three races, including the TR 2011 must be completed to qualify for a series victory. Each race is weighted equally in overall series scoring with the exception of TR 2011, which is weighted 1.5 times. All entered yachts are scored using their two best finishes in addition to the TR 2011. Awards for the AORS will be presented in November, 2011, at the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in Manhattan
You Can Track The Transatlantic Fleet HERE
The names of the winners of the 2009 Ocean Records World Championship are now known. In the crewed category, Pascal Bidégorry is the new champion thanks to his great achievement this summer with the crew of the Banque Populaire V trimaran in the Atlantic. In the single-handed category, after Francis Joyon in 2008, it is now Thomas Coville, who deservedly takes this award after completing a round the world voyage in 59 days.
The Ocean Records World Championship, which brings together all the major historic sailing records – over twenty routes in all – has delivered its verdict for 2009. In the final rankings based on each record being given a coefficient of one to ten according to its length and difficulty, the big winners in 2009 are Pascal Bidégorry in the crewed category and Thomas Coville for the single-handed sailors.
The North Atlantic and 24 hour record smashed
Pascal Bidégorry and his men have won the title of world champions thanks to the records set by the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V in the Atlantic. To remind you of their incredible feat, they crossed the ocean averaging 32.94 knots with a time of 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds… They also smashed the 24-hour record and in so doing went through two symbolic barriers: the 800-mile and then the 900-mile barrier … In fact the giant trimaran Banque Populaire V sailed 908 miles in just one day.
Looking at the solo sailors, after Francis Joyon in 2008 and his 57-day round the world record, it is Thomas Coville, who takes the title of 2009 World Champion, thanks to his non-stop single-handed round the world voyage completed in a time of 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds, the second best time ever. Thomas Coville did not manage to better Francis Joyon’s record, but achieved a remarkable performance, for which he has quite naturally been rewarded with this title of 2009 World Champion. We can note that this is the second time Thomas Coville has won this title as he was already proclaimed world champion for the first time back in 2006.
The reactions of the champions:
“Receiving this title of World Champion during the first year of sailing this boat is obviously a great pleasure. It is an honour for all those, who sail on the maxi Banque Populaire V… and I hope it won’t be the last! I hope too that there will be more and more of us battling it out in this championship in the coming years. It’s great that such rankings exist. We’ll see about next year, but if we get it thanks to the Jules Verne Trophy, I won’t be complaining!”
“Even if I always put this sort of honour into perspective – my real goal is to make another attempt at the single-handed round the world record next year- it’s really nice to be recognised in this way. The points system means that attempts are honoured. When a pole-vaulter jumps, we always expect him to beat Bubka’s world record and he tends to be forgotten if he doesn’t do that, even if he achieves the best performance of the year… »
Reminder of the winners since the Ocean Records World Championship was set up:
2008 : Lionel Lemonchois
2007 : Franck Cammas
2006 : Bruno Peyron
2005 : Bruno Peyron
2004 : Steve Fossett
2008 : Francis Joyon
2007 : Francis Joyon
2006 : Thomas Coville
2005 : Ellen MacArthur
2004 : Francis Joyon
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of security
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the hydraulic mechanic and fittings
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : Vidéo
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : sails
Role : Watch leader Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the video and composite
Role : Watch leader, Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the medical
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : in charge of the electronics
Role : Bowman
Other : in charge of the composite and fitting
Role : Bowman
Other : In charge of the medical and rigging
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Other : food on board
Role : Helmsman / Trimmer
Role : Weather Router, Navigator
Pascal Bidégorry and his crew of 11 men aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, smashed the Transatlantic Record crossing the North Atlantic,by half a day. They also broke the 24hr record with 908 miles.
Groupama 3 also broke their own record set in 2007.
THE ATLANTIC CROSSING RECORD
The first record time for sailing across the North Atlantic was established by the ATLANTIC schooner, a 56 m long three-masted vessel skippered by the famous American captain Charlie Barr in 1905, in more than 12 days. For 75 years this record was not beaten.
Eric Tabarly was to be the first person to smash it in 1980 aboard his trimaran PAUL RICARD, cutting the time to 10 days.
Marc Pajot (ELF AQUITAINE I), Patrick Morvan (JET SERVICES II), Loïc Caradec & Philippe Facques (ROYALE II), Philippe Poupon (FLEURY MICHON VIII), then Serge Madec (JET SERVICES V) each in turn reduceD the time, the latter having achieved the crossing in 6 days 13h 3mn and 32s in June 1990 at an average speed of 18.42 knots. This record was to remain in everyone’s mind, as it stood for more than 10 years.
We had to wait for the new generation of maxi-catamarans built for The Race for the record held by JET SERVICES V to be smashed. It was beaten on 10th October 2001 by the American Steve Fossett aboard his 38 m maxi-catamaran PLAYSTATION in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 mn and 6s, at an incredible average speed of 25.78 knots.
Bruno Peyron and his Orange II crew smashed Fossett’s record aboard the maxi catamaran Orange II, finishing the course from Ambrose Light near New York City to Lizard Point off the southwestern tip of Great Britain in just 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds – more than 9 hours faster than Fossett. Halfway through the 3,100 nautical mile trip, Orange II hit a submerged iceberg and broke one of its two steering rudders.
The Orange II Dream Team improved on the record set by Steve Fossett’s PlayStation by 9 hours 4 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that was said to be unbeatable.
Next was 105 foot trimaran Groupama III , in 2007
With an almost unbelievable time of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds, beating Bruno Peyron’s time on Orange II by almost 5 hours.
Today in 2009 that record has been shattered again.
Prelimary times until ratified are,
Groupama 3, – 3 days 18 hrs, 12 min, 58 secs – average speed 31.92 kts
Banque Populaire V,- 3 days, 15 hrs,25 min,48 secs, average speed 32.94 kts, peak speed 47.15 kts,
24 Hour Record, 908 mile, average speed of 37.8 kts
1905 – Charlie Barr – Atlantic – USA – 12d 4h 1m – 10.02 kts
1980 – Eric Tabarly – Paul Ricard – FRA – 10d 5h 14m – 11.93 kts
1981 – Marc Pajot Elf – Aquitaine – FRA – 9d 10h 6m – 12.94 kts
1984 – Patrick Morvan – Jet Services II – FRA 8d 16h 33m – 14.03 kts
1986 – Loïc Caradec – Royale II – FRA – 7d 21h 5m – 15.47 kts
1987 – Philippe Poupon – Fleury Michon VIII – FRA – 7d 12h 50m – 16.18 kts
1988 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA -7d 6h 30m – 16.76 kts
1990 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA – 6d 13h 3m – 18.62 kts
2001 – Steve Fossett – PlayStation – USA – 4d 17h 28m 6s – 25.78 kts
2006 – Bruno Peyron – Orange II – FRA – 4d 8h 23m 54s – 28 kts
2007 – Franck Cammas – Groupama 3 – FRA – 4d 3h 57m 54s – 29.26 kts