The tight-knit community of bluewater adventure sailors is buzzing with activity this summer.
A new record for a monohull crossing the North Atlantic was set in June and an attempt at the Transpacific Yacht Race record is scheduled to begin Saturday.
On June 6, French sailor Marc Guillemot smashed the solo North Atlantic record for a monohull with a time of 8 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes and 20 seconds — that’s 15 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds less than the record that British skipper Alex Thomson set in July 2012.
The skipper of Open 60 Safran covered the 2,880 miles between New York and The Lizard peninsula in south Cornwall, England, at an average speed of 14.59 knots.
“I’m very pleased with this new record. Particularly as the pace was very demanding, with a lot of commitment and little sleep,” Guillemot said a few minutes after crossing the finishing line. “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.”
Safran is heading back to her home port of la Trinité-sur-Mer. Guillemot will be competing in the Fastnet Race in August, competing double-handed with Pascal Bidégorry.
Meanwhile, on the California coast, Tritium Racing is set to sail a 73-foot offshore trimaran on a world-record breaking pace of 4-1/2 days while covering more than 2,225 nautical miles during the Transpacific Yacht Race from Point Fermin, Calif., to Honolulu on July 13.
���I’m extremely proud of the crew and absolutely confident in their abilities to compete and win this race,” said John Sangmeister, yacht owner and skipper, and president and CEO of Gladstone’s Long Beach.
Bruno Peyron set the Transpac record in 1997 aboard Commodore Explorer, an 86-foot catamaran, in five days, nine hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds.
The first Transpac was held in 1906 and took 12 days to complete. It has since become a premier international sailing event. Transpac 2013 will field more than 59 boats. The smallest ones began the race on Monday. Mid-sized boats will leave on Thursday and the largest will begin racing on Saturday.