Mark Lloyd /

Second record for Lending Club

Renaud Laplanche and Ryan Breymaier's maxi-tri demolishes Newport-Bermuda record

Monday April 20th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: Bermuda

Renaud Laplanche, co-skipper Ryan Breymaier and the crew of the 105ft trimaran Lending Club 2 have established a new world sailing speed record for the 635-nautical mile course from Castle Hill Lighthouse, off Newport, Rhode Island, to Kitchen Shoal Beacon in Bermuda. The new record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), is 23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds at an average speed of 27 knots.

The Lending Club Sailing team had been on standby at Newport Shipyard for a week while the crew prepared the boat and waited for a suitable weather window – a moderate reaching breeze and manageable sea conditions which would allow Lending Club 2 to reach speeds of more than 40 knots. Lending Club 2 crossed the start line by Castle Hill Lighthouse at 05:34:40 UTC making roughly 5.5 knots. Three and a half hours into the passage, they had reached speeds of 30 knots, and by the 12 hour mark were half-way to their destination. At 04:44:32 UTC the new record was set, some 15 hours faster than the old record of 38 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds (average speed 16 knots) set by the late Steve Fossett and his crew aboard the 125ft maxi-catamaran Playstation in June 1999. For her attempt Lending Club 2 averaged 27 knots over the 635 nautical mile course.

“We set our sights on three speed sailing records for the 2015 season: Cowes-Dinard, Newport to Bermuda, and the 2,215-nautical mile Transpac,” said Laplanche, who added that they exceeded 40 knots during the passage. “Newport to Bermuda was a challenging 23 hours, 9 minutes and 52 seconds. We have had an exciting ride down here, and with two new world records now under our belts, we’re more primed than ever for the Transpac."

Ryan Breymaier added: “Steve Fossett was a great sailor who I had the honour to sail with on Playstation. We are very happy to honour his memory with such a fast time! He would have been content to see his mark bettered with such a great time. We’re thrilled with the record we set today – it’s fantastic to have the wind at our back as we head to the Transpac.”

Laplanche, who makes his home in San Francisco, personally chartered the 105ft trimaran (originally launched as Groupama 3 in 2006) for the three record-breaking attempts in 2015. With success in the first two attempts, focus will now shift to mid-July’s Transpac, the longest ocean race in the world. At stake is not only the Transpac course record but also the outright sailing speed record across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Lending Club 2 will return to the City by the Sea following the Newport-Bermuda passage and remain at Newport Shipyard until the end of April. The yacht will then head to New York for a week before sailing through the Panama Canal to arrive in San Francisco in June.


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