Velux 5 Oceans British solo sailor Chris Stanmore-Major (CSM) has set the 24-hour speed record for the current edition of the solo round the world yacht race onboard his Eco 60 yacht Spartan.
CSM’s Spartan leads Derek Hatfield’s Active House - Velux 5 Oceans
The Velux 5 Oceans race committee has ratified that CSM’s passage of 385.8 nautical miles in the 24 hours leading up to the 1800 UTC position report on May 16 is a record for the current edition of the 30,000-mile race. During that period CSM averaged a massive 16.1 knots and at points was travelling at speeds of more than 30 knots.
The previous record was set by American Brad Van Liew during ocean sprint three from Cape Town to Wellington when he travelled 370 miles in 24 hours averaging 15.4 knots.
'Spartan has been absolutely fantastic and was flying at the start of the race,' said CSM, currently in second position. 'My 24-hour distance run of 385 miles is certainly the longest I have done in this race and I have just heard it is furthest 24-hour run of the whole 2010/11 race. I am very proud of that.
'When Giovanni Soldini won this race on this very boat in 1998 his longest 24-hour run was 368 miles and to break that allows me to acknowledge that I have the tools and I know how to make the boat go fast, and I just have to get the skill of positioning the boat down to a tee.'
Things have since slowed down for CSM and the rest of the Velux 5 Oceans fleet after sailing into an area of high pressure just off the Canadian province of Newfoundland. Light, shifty breezes have characterised the past two days with speeds more around the six-knot mark.
'Yesterday was a very long and slow day indeed,' CSM explained. 'We were going upwind in very little breeze at about six knots and there was very little to do. Apart from pressing a few buttons now and then there was nothing to do. It was very frustrating given that we’re so close to the finish.
'I’m now ghosting along at five knots with the Code 5 and full main up. It’s a huge contrast to two days ago when we were flying along in howling winds. Right now the water is mirror-flat. The good thing is that everyone else has these light conditions too, it’s not just me. Now it’s a case of trying to make the best of the conditions, not let Derek catch up too much and keep contact with Brad.'
Despite the frustrating conditions several of the skippers’ moods were lifted by visits from dolphins, whales and seals as they passed Sable Island, a nature reserve 180 miles off the mainland.
CSM added: 'There is fantastic wildlife here, seals all around the boat, cormorants and terns, and even dolphins this morning. It’s all a bit bizarre and magical.' 'My mood is always improved when dolphins come to visit,' Derek added.
You can listen to CSM talk about his record-breaking run plus a lot more here.
Positions at 1200 UTC:
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew: 2,402.9 / 0 / 137.1 / 5.7
Chris Stanmore-Major: 2,429.9 / 27 / 141.9 / 5.9
Derek Hatfield: 2,453.5 / 50.5 / 160.8 / 6.7
Zbigniew Gutkowski: 2,505.2 / 102.3 / 157.8 / 6.6
Velux 5 Oceans website