Photo: Francois Van Malleghem / DPPI / Safran

New solo monohull transatlantic record

Marc Guillemot on Safran betters Alex Thomson's record

Saturday July 6th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Marc Guillemot and his IMOCA 60 have set a new record for the solo west to east crossing of the North Atlantic by monohull with a new time of 8 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes and 20 seconds. This is 15 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds less than the previous record set in July 2012 by the British skipper Alex Thomson aboard his IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss. The French skipper passed the line to the south of the Lizard at 0439 UTC having covered the 2880 miles between New York and The Lizard at an average speed of 14.59 knots. Safran is now on her way back to his home port of La Trinité-sur-Mer.

Guillemot has previously established the records on the New York to Lizard course twice but on both occasions with crews on maxi-multihulls and the last being aboard Jet Services V in 1988).

“I’m very pleased with this new record," commented Guillemot on crossing the line. "Particularly as the pace was very demanding, with a lot of commitment and little sleep. I set off at good speed from New York and the first part of the crossing was very tricky along the coast of Newfoundland, where we had to watch out for a lot of shipping, floating rubbish, whales... Then, I was in the mist almost all the way to the longitude of the Azores. I moved along with one low-pressure area then another. I always had plenty of wind with one particular exception: the final 24 hours, when I was seriously slowed down with an area of calms associated with the Azores High. With wind right up to the finish, I would have got a better time, but for now, I’m just enjoying this great performance.”

Before setting out from New York, Marc Guillemot said that he wanted to do something amazing sailing solo to get over his early exit from the Vendée Globe. He has now done just that. “We didn’t give up and it’s great to bounce back like this. It’s good for me, for the team and for Safran, which has invested so much technically. We have proved that Safran is a boat we can rely on.”

There was a race within the record and Marc Guillemot has also won his duel with the Polish skipper, Zbigniew Gutkowski. He moved ahead thanks to better timing with a gybe as he moved up towards Ireland. “This battle against Gutek was a source of additional satisfaction. Unlike most record attempts, I wasn’t just racing against the clock,” stressed Marc.

Marc Guillemot and Safran will be competing in the Fastnet Race in August racing double-handed with Pascal Bidégorry - a good way to prepare for the Transat Jacques Vabre that the two men will take part in on Safran next November.

Latest Comments

  • 630195 08/07/2013 - 15:57

    Very impressive. Well done as well to Gutek on Energia who also beat Alex Thomson's record, by alomost two hours, and for much of their voyages was ahead of Marc. Given how much time they both lost to light airs approaching the the Scillies, further improvement in the solo monohull North Altantic record may well be possible...Richard Tolkien

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