Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Round Britain and Ireland new record to Safran

by Soazig Guého on 19 Jun 2011
Safran © Jean-Marie Liot
Round Britain and Ireland now has a new record that has been set by Safran. The crew just made it in with a time of six days, nine hours, forty-eight minutes, and fifty seconds.

Safran has now been added to the record-breakers around Britain and Ireland. On Saturday 18th June, the big monohull sailed by Marc Guillemot, Yann Eliès, Loic Lingois, César Dohy and Didier Le Vourch sailied across the finishing line off the Lizard at 0734 hrs GMT.

The crew aboard Safran completed the voyage in 6 days, 9 hours, 48 minutes and  50 seconds improving on the record time held since June 2009 by Dee Caffari’s all-women crew on Aviva by one hour 42 minutes and three seconds. Safran completed the course at an average speed of 11.52 knots on the 1773 mile Great circle route (the theoretical course).

However, on the water, she actually covered more than 2000 miles at an average speed of 13 knots. Setting out just under a week ago from this same location off the Lizard at 2145 hrs GMT on Saturday 11th June in a duel with Vincent Riou and Hugues Destremau’s PRB, Marc Guillemot’s crew just managed to achieve what they set out to do, while PRB was forced to retire after their forestay broke. (1)
 
The record was particularly difficult with some strong winds (up to 48 knots) and heavy seas, but also some tricky weather patterns to deal with, but this made it all the more interesting for Marc Guillemot, Yann Eliès and the three other men on board. In the North Sea – the attempt was carried out in an anti-clockwise direction from east to west – wind farms, which were not marked on the charts and a boat being towed forced them to carry out emergency manoeuvres on Safran and this led to two breakages:

The big spinnaker blew out and two mainsail battens were broken. The strategy involving staying ahead of a warm front was soon no longer valid and they had to adapt to the situation, talking things through with Sylvain Mondon of Météo France. 'Off the Shetlands, we no longer had any advantage and at best we could aim for beating the record by three hours,' explained Sylvain.

The conditions they encountered were particularly tough: sailing upwind in winds averaging 35 knots gusting to 45 in heavy seas with four to five metre high waves.

In other words, rather like during the 2009 Transat Jacques Vabre, when Safran was nicknamed 'the war machine' after previously being referred to as 'the jet fighter'… PRB, lighter with three men fewer aboard was in the lead at that point.

The crew of Safran can be praised for sticking with it and executing a perfect strategy throughout the second half of the race course.

In particular off the west of Ireland, where they carried out three changes of tack in heavy seas to try to make the most of the wind shift as it came around to offer downwind sailing. After having more than enough upwind sailing in nasty seas – to the extent that they even had to slow down to ensure the safety of the boat as she slammed violently into each wave. Safran could finally open up her sails and was speeding along south west of Ireland when we learnt that PRB had suffered damage: their forestay had broken and this eventually led to Vincent Riou and Hugues Destremau retiring. Safran accelerated on the starboard tack and only needed to do one more gybe, just before the finishing line.

Upwind, reaching, downwind, heavy seas… the boat experienced all sorts of conditions in this difficult voyage around Britain and Ireland. An excellent way of training for the Transat Jacques Vabre and  great way to introduce the boat to Yann Eliès, who will be Marc Guillemot’s co-skipper in this year’s big event.
 
Two questions for Marc Guillemot.
 
Marc, this was a tricky record for you?
'We didn’t have much leeway. A good boat setting off in the right conditions could improve on our time by around thirty hours, I think. Maybe we’ll give it another go ourselves one day. Having said that, we are quite pleased, as it took such a lot of effort. The wind and in particular the seas were so nasty that at times, we had to slow the boat down deliberately. There were moments when we weren’t in record mode, but more worried about looking after the equipment. There was some really bad slamming. The conditions were sometimes tougher than in the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2009 when we went through some really nasty weather.'
 
Your final appraisal?
'It’s all been very positive for several reasons. We were able to check out the modifications made during the winter refit in some very demanding weather  and the boat did well apart from two little bits of damage in the North Sea (spinnaker and mainsail battens – editor’s note). The idea of a duel with Vincent was a good one and we are sincerely disappointed for what happened to them. We would have preferred to see two boats finishing.

They sailed really well until they suffered this damage. Finally, sailing with a crew meant we could really focus on the details and Yann (Eliès) adapted perfectly to the boat, so it was a great introduction for him. And just as after each adventure, we are simply delighted to have completed it and to be heading home. We are due to arrive in La Trinité-sur-Mer this evening or during the night and then we’ll be able to get some rest.'
 
(1) All of these figures await ratification by the WSSRC, the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the body, which governs world sailing Safran website

NaiadSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82T Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Comanche - On board report - 175nm ahead of trans-Atlantic record pace
Comanche is currently 1?76? miles ahead of the record (correct at 09.45 BST) Sunday July 24, 2016 Update from Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark's supermaxi Comanche on Sunday 24th July, 2016 as she chases the Trans-Atlantic monohull record Comanche is currently 1?76? miles ahead of the record (correct at 09.45 BST). Visit the Yellow Brick tracker for latest position updates
Posted today at 12:10 pm
Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge - Race 13 arrivals complete
Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, arrivals are now complete following arrival of IchorCoal at 2300 local time As Visit Seattle, PSP Logistics and Da Nang – Viet Nam celebrated their podium finishes in race 13, the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, arrivals are now complete following the arrival of IchorCoal at 2300 local time this evening.
Posted today at 7:48 am
Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Kraken one, Darby no score
In real race, not artificial ones that sailboats make up between themselves, Kraken beat Mother Nature’s child – Darby 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race - In a real race, not the artificial ones that sailboats make up between themselves, Kraken has beat Mother Nature’s child – Darby. Mark and Annette Malacek’s Beneteau First 40.7 from West Vancouver Yacht Club crossed the finish line around 1:45 pm local time. It was great relief to the many family and fans that greeted Kraken's arrival.
Posted today at 7:20 am
Pacific Cup - Friday finishers action-shots by Lauren Easley
Photographer Lauren Easley was in air at 2016 Pacific Cup and provided this gallery of images from Friday action. Photographer Lauren Easley was in air at finish of the Pacific Cup raced from San Francisco to Honolulu and provided this gallery of images from Friday action.
Posted today at 6:38 am
France Blue, Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup favourite?
Calling form on Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for team to be successful all three of its boats must perform Calling form on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for a team to be successful, all three of its boats must perform. This, plus the event's week-long duration and diverse race format, make the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews one of the pinnacle racing events internationally held under a rating rule.
Posted today at 5:24 am
ORC Worlds - Three new ORC World Champions crowned in Copenhagen
A light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on concluding day of 2016 ORC Worlds 2016 ORC Worlds - After an initial delay this morning due to no wind that threatened to keep everyone ashore like yesterday, a light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on the concluding day of the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club.
Posted today at 4:45 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – Class40s sail into Saint-Malo
Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2016 Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis are now safely moored at the Quai Duguay-Trouin wharf in Saint-Malo at the foot of the ramparts as the sun prepares to go down over the Corsair City.
Posted today at 3:09 am
America's Cup World Series Portsmouth – Standing room only.
There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. Happily, that means that when it’s good it very, very good. Blue skies, sunshine, 23 deg C, clean air, and the whole place looks as if has put on a party frock and got lit up. Wonderful.
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – More Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from the first day of racing Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from the first day of racing
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Race Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from the first day of racing in Portsmouth Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from the first day of racing in Portsmouth
Posted on 23 Jul