It was on Saturday 11th June at 2145 hrs GMT (2345 hrs CET) and at 2148 hrs GMT (2348 hrs) respectively that the two monohulls, Safran and PRB crossed the starting line off the Lizard to attempt to beat the Round Britain and Ireland record, which has been held since 2009 by Aviva.
Aviva’s 2009 route - Round Britain and Ireland record attempt
With a gap of three minutes between them, Safran and PRB got underway on Saturday to attempt to beat the Round Britain and Ireland record sailing anti-clockwise and following the same course as Aviva. The two monohulls will have to round all the islands and rocks making up the British Isles (Great Britain, Ireland, Scillies, Fastnet Rock, Great Skellig, Tearaght Island, St Kilda, Sula Sgeir, Muckle Flugga).
The two boats set off in fifteen knots of wind and in the rain, which indicates the influence of the low-pressure area that they have been looking forward to in order to make this attempt.
To beat the record, Safran will have to cross the finish by 0916hrs GMT on Saturday 18th June and PRB will have to be back by 0919 hrs GMT.
Interviews with the two skippers just after they crossed the starting line:
Marc: 'We crossed the line at 2145 hrs. PRB checked in later, setting off two or three minutes after us. It’s raining and wet. We’re sailing close-hauled in 15 knots of wind. We hope to keep up the pace to stay on time to beat the record. We’re on our way!'»
Vincent: 'We’ve got 15 knots of wind and it’s raining. The front is just passing over us. We’re off on this Round Britain and Ireland attempt!'
Safran : Marc Guillemot and his crew, comprising Yann Eliès, Loïc Lingois, Didier Le Vourch and César Dohy
PRB : Vincent Riou and Hugues Destremau
The record to beat:
6 days 11 hours 30 minutes and 53 seconds held since 2009 by the all-women crew of Aviva, Dee Caffari’s IMOCA.
Theoretical distance: 1850 miles