British offshore sailor Phil Sharp is on standby to attempt the outright monohull Sailing Speed Record for the English Channel.
At a time where the winter gales start to relentlessly beat up the shores of the British Isles, and boat-owners are putting their vessels firmly to bed, Phil Sharp, sailing Class 40 race yacht Imerys is now on Code Red Standby to attempt one of the fastest of the World Record-breaking routes, the cross-Channel Sailing Record.
After establishing last December’s Length of Britain Record with extreme adventurer Sean Conway, PS Racing have their sights set on the Channel Record route, one of the most established routes in offshore sailing. Launched in 1905 by King Edward VII, the ‘Cowes-Dinard’ has since taken place as an annual race and is ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council as the Official Cross-Channel route for Sailing Speed Records.
A total distance of 140 miles, Phil will be attempting to break the outright monohull record of 12 hours 1 minute and 31 seconds. This is currently held by offshore skipper Jean Luc Van Den Heede (VDH), who set the record back in 2004 in Adrien, a boat over twice the size of Imerys, with a length of 85 feet.
Skipper Phil Sharp comments: “This is a fast and exciting record that I have always wanted to take on, but it will be tricky to beat as our Class 40 Imerys, at just 40 foot, is less than half the length of the current record setter Adrien. This means we will have to wait for some very strong winds from the North and ensure that the boat is pushed right to its limit throughout the crossing.
“Imerys will need to average at least 12 knots over the entire 140 mile route, and timing will be key for the attempt. There are extremely strong tides on this route, passing through the Alderney Race which can see currents of up to 10 knots, so the departure time will be critical to try and make the most of the best wind and the strongest south-going tide.”
PS Racing’s experienced meteorologist, Jure Jerman is keeping a close eye on the longer range forecast in order to identify a precise weather window, Jure comments; “At the moment we are on standby in a Code Red situation until we see a clear weather opportunity for Phil’s attempt. There is a possible window that might open up towards the end of next week, with some very strong NE winds, and early next week we will have a much clearer idea on whether this looks probable.”
Phil will be delivering Imerys to Cowes this weekend where final preparations will be made ahead of a potential record attempt over the coming weeks.