Channel Crossing Challenge on an F18 + Video

2014 F18 World Championship
Jasper van Staveren
Successful crossing! Hugo Lavayssière and Joris Cocaud crossed the Channel on a sport catamaran on Sunday, July 13, 2014! With a time of 07h11mn they rallied Roscoff, after departure from Plymouth at 9:49.

This record, originally, was the Brittany Ferries record: crossing the English Channel at its widest point, around 100 nautical miles. In 2011, Yvan Bourgnon and Karine Baillet are the first to show the way, on a catamaran sport, 7:42 min. Brittany Ferries record had never been attempted before on such a small boat. In 2013, Pierre-Yves Durand and Eric Defert through in 6:57 in tough conditions.

During the F18 Worlds 2014 we have followed the evolution of the weather. The ideal weather window for crossing the Channel was on Sunday, July 13. Models gave essentially the same thing: Northwest wind 12 to 14 knots gusting to 18 knots, the ideal state of the sea with a swell of less than 1m. The state of the sea is a very important for boat speed. All conditions were met for a beautiful journey; routings gave a crossing in 6h30min at an average speed of 15.5 knots.

We unloaded the boat the day before our departure in a marina in Plymouth. Our 'logistician' took the evening ferry to Roscoff with the trailer, so there was no escape. The next day we had to cross. Stressful and existing at same time. Obligations and the sea do not mix ...

After an uncomfortable night (all Plymouth hotels ware booked due to a swim meet) we complete our waterproof bag filled with our clothes, allocate safety equipment, attach the bag : let's go!

Conditions are perfect. Mostly, the wind has turned in the night, as expected, and the sky is clear. We leave Plymouth through, and then we hoist the spinnaker, now, we are in the thick of it. If we go for 100 miles in F18 is to go downwind with the spinnaker! A dream, these boats are so good at downwind sailing!

Double trapeze with the spinnaker in the first 1:30, then the wind picked up around 18-20 knots, not allowing us to take over the road with the spinnaker. However, these boats are very fast in reaching. We capsize when the wind got a little stronger. Before we capsize, the average speed was around 16 knots.

After 1h across without the spinnaker, the wind turn and we never dropped the spinnaker up to 15 miles from the finish. Then wind was lighter and more left to approach the coast, dropping our instant averaging around 10 knots. We finally pass the line at 17:00. So we lost the record of 14 minutes!

We intend to find another opportunity to try to beat the record! Spinnaker, again and again!

We were equipped with a Mk2 Shockwave designed by Yves Loday and distributed by Sirena Sailing a catamaran F18 5.5m long without cab. Formula 18 is a renowned international series, originally, a French initiative to racing on coastal courses. The shockwave is comfortable in unbridled paces to 'attack' serene, perfect for a Channel crossing under reaching and downwind.

We thank Jean-Christophe and Pierre-Yves from 'Sirena Voile' and the whole team for their help during the preparation of the boat and the road transport to Ireland; Jean-Marc Roue, Brittany Ferries, for ferry crossings and hospitality in Roscoff; Yves Loday for his valuabled advice; Marguerite, our logistician; 'Espace Voile Peyron; and our loved ones and families who have followed this project.

Best regards.

Twitter :
Facebook page :