Can the giant French catamaran seize another record?
It was a superbly tuned catamaran that took to the sea again today Wednesday 19th July, ready and raring to tackle the Atlantic again and attempt to beat the famous record of 6 days, 13 hours, 3 minutes and 32 seconds separating New York from the Lizard point (UK). This record has remained unbeaten for 10 years (Jet Services V / May 1990).
Indeed, Club Med has been on a tech stop in Newport since July 4th. The twelve crewmen present on site have carried out a thorough check-up of the boat: boom, mast, deck gear, sails – nothing has been left to chance for optimising the catamaran’s technical preparation.
14 MEN READY FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC
On the crew side, fourteen men will be taking the start for this new adventure. Grant Dalton, of course, who will be teaming up again for the occasion with co-skipper Bruno Peyron. A real duo, driven by the same will to conquer. Already together last June they beat the East-West Atlantic record between Cadiz and San Salvador and the world 24 hour sailing record (625 miles). Around the 2 co-skippers, a 12 man crew: Mike Quilter (NZL), Ed Danby (NZL), Neal Mac Donald (GBR), Bobby Campbell (USA), Jason Carrington (GBR), Jacques Caraës (FRA), Nicolas Pichelin (FRA), Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and Ian Dekker (RSA). Commited to the Quebec/Saint Malo Transat, Fred Le Peutrec and Hervé Jan will be replaced by two men whose names have not yet been confirmed. As for the 12th place, it will occupied by Club Med CEO, Philippe Bourguignon himself. A member of crew who will not be on his first race because he sailed alongside Bruno Peyron on Explorer during the Channel crossing record in August 1996.
WAITING FOR THE IDEAL WEATHER WINDOW
Boat ready, men too – now they must wait for the ideal weather conditions, a parameter that cannot be ignored in a record attempt. For the time being, weather router Roger Badham, announces that 3the best window would seem to be for July 26th. Clearly the choice of route is going to be southerly. Even if the winds could be reversed, following a small cell of high pressure, the SE winds should shift to SSW and reach 20 to 25 knots. A forecast that should be confirmed within the next few days.