Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Solo North Atlantic crossing record - Clock is ticking away for Safran

by Safran Sailing Team on 28 Jun 2013
2013 North Atlantic crossing Regatta - Safran sailing ©Piotr Redlinsky / CAPA Pictures / Safran
The clock is ticking for the French skipper,Marc Guillemot. Aboard the 60-foot monohull Safran set off alone from New York on Thursday, June 27th 2013 to attempt to grab the prestigious solo North Atlantic crossing record from east to west on a monohull.

Safran crossed the line at the foot of Ambrose Light at 23:19 GMT. The record attempt has also become a race, as the Pole, Zbigniew Gutkowski set off at the same time as Marc Guillemot.

The goal is to try to smash the record set by the Brtitish sailor, Alex Thomson in July 2012: 8 days, 21 hours, 8 minutes and 31 seconds. To achieve this, Safran will have to cross the finishing line off The Lizard on the South coast of England by 20hrs 27mn 31s GMT on Saturday, July 6th, 2013. This means maintaining an average speed of more than 13.7 knots over the 2880 miles of the course. It will also involve overcoming a number of hurdles: thick mists off Canada, marine mammals, shipping… Last summer, Alex Thomson managed to improve on Bernard Stamm’s old record time by more than one day. A record he had held for ten years.

Marc Guillemot: 'a goal in itself'
Marc Guillemot is particularly keen to tackle this record: 'It is important for two reasons. Firstly, the delivery trip to New York allowed us to sail across the Atlantic and make technical progress aboard the boat, take measures and check out the work we did during the winter. But the North Atlantic record is a goal in itself, something we really want to aim for to enable me to get over the disappointment of the Vendée Globe. Alex Thomson had a remarkable crossing keeping up an average of 14 knots on the direct route. We have to do even better than that…'

Jean-Yves Bernot explains the weather opportunity
One of the many difficulties with this legendary crossing is finding the right weather opportunity. Marc Guillemot is being helped by his router Jean-Yves Bernot. He tells us more, 'The opportunity looks very good for the start of the attempt. At the start there will be plenty of wind, but not too much: a SSW’ly of around 30 knots. Marc will be following a low-pressure area, which formed to the south of the Great Lakes and will move right across to the longitude of the Azores. Halfway throigh the crossing, he will experience less wind, but it still remains interesting. Ideally, he will be hoping for another low-pressure area to develop behind him. The record takes around 8 days and the forecasts are only reliable for 4-5 days: so for the time being, the conditions for the end of the crossing are not that reliable. There is still some uncertainty and it will be down to good luck, but that is what you expect with these records. It all depends on small details in any case.'

A race as well as a record
Marc Guillemot will not be setting out alone to tackle the solo North Atlantic record for a 60-foot monohull. Another sailor from the last Vendée Globe, the Polish skipper, Zbigniew Gutkowski (nicknamed 'Gutek'), set off at the same time. A race within the record, which means extra motivation for the skipper of Safran.

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
NaiadKilwell - 1Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear