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And They're Off! Omani Round Ireland Speed Sailing Record Bid Underway

4th May 2015
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And They're Off! Omani Round Ireland Speed Sailing Record Bid Underway

#omansail – The Oman Sail Trimaran crossed the Dublin Bay start line and headed northabout just after 6pm this evening in its latest bid to break the twenty–year Round Ireland Speed Record held by the late American adventurer Steve Fossett. French skipper Sidney Gavignet at the helm of the 70–footer cleared the Kish lighthouse start line, flying a hull and producing a cloud of spray as one of the fastest boats in the world reached full speed. Gavignet must beat a 44–hour record and be back on Dublin Bay just after lunch on Wednesday. 

Winds on Dublin bay were at 18–knots and gusting to over 25 this evening presenting ideal conditions for this professional crew. Onboard are Alex Pella from Spain and Jean Baptiste Levaillant together with three Omani sailors and skipper Gavignet.

The southerly direction of the Dublin Bay breeze produced lumpy, one metre waves, giving Irish World Speed Sailing Commissioner Chris Moore a difficult berth for officiating the record bid from the Dublin Bay Sailing Club starting vessel located just off the Burford bank.

Having arrived from France only this morning, Gavignet took only the briefest pitstop at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour before heading back out to sea for what amounts to his third attempt at the Round Ireland speed record in recent years. Gavignet tried to break the record previously in 2013 but was beaten back by strong winds in the Irish Sea. By starting this evening he has made good on a promise to return and make a record attempt.

With potentially only one night at sea, which must be helpful for record-breaking, the current forecast suggests there's just a chance of some nor'east before they get to the South Rock, and there's a chance also of a flat spot on Tuesday evening. But either way it's a good forecast for Oman who must average 16–knots to be in with a chance.

Last season, the trimaran crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes in August with an elapsed time of three days, 03 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds breaking the previous World Record for a multihull held by Banque Populaire 5 in 2011, by 16 minutes, 38 seconds.

Within minutes of crossing the line this evening, the 70–foot colourful vessel had cleared the capital's waters and disappeared into the mist of the Irish Sea. Her six man crew recognising there are over 700–miles between them and a record that has stood the test of time since 1993. In September 1993, Fossett, (sailing with Con Murphy, Cathy MacAleavey, David Scully and Brian Thompson) put the Kish astern again after 44 hours 42 minutes and 20 seconds an average of 15.84 knots. It's a record which has stood for over 19 years but wiill it still be standing on Wednesday?  Sources close to the crew say they are confident of knocking up to ten hours off the record time and are expecting to be home by Wednesday morning. 

 

Published in News Update
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