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Sailing record set on English Channel

Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier established a new world speed sailing record across the English Channel.

The San Francisco-based Lending Club said Wednesday that CEO Renaud Laplanche and co-skipper Ryan Breymaier established a new world speed sailing record across the English Channel.

The sailors went from the Royal Yacht Squadron Cowes, Isle of Wight to Dinard, France, in 5 hours, 15 minutes, subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council, aboard their 105-foot offshore trimaran Lending Club 2 at an average speed of 26.36 knots.

Other crewmembers included Jan Majer, Stanislas Delbarre, Olivier Laplanche, navigator Boris Herrmann, French racing veterans Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant and Roland Jourdain, and OBR Quin Bisset. Shore-based weather routing was provided by Wouter Verbraak.

After preparation overseen by Breymaier in France and training in the past week, the boat had been stationed in Gosport, UK, waiting for the perfect weather window. Laplanche flew in at the last minute on Monday to take the helm once the weather conditions had been confirmed.

The previous record of 5 hours, 23 minutes was established by skipper Brian Thompson, navigator Adrienne Cahalan and the crew of Maiden II, a 110-foot catamaran, in September 2002 at an average speed of 25.6 knots.

"After our attempt at breaking the Transpacific record in 2013, we had been working on assembling the right boat, crew and weather conditions to make another record attempt," Laplanche said in a statement. "The Cowes-to-Dinard record is a very special challenge that had been around for over 10 years; I am very proud of what the crew accomplished today."

"We always knew the Cowes-to-Dinard record would be very tough to break, as Maiden set the bar high. We're overjoyed with our result today; it's a great start to our record-breaking plans for the year," added Breymaier, a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Laplanche has personally chartered the 105-foot offshore trimaran (formerly Banque Populaire 7) and renamed it Lending Club 2 for a series of races and record-breaking attempts throughout 2015.

Pictures and videos of the record-breaking run can be viewed on the team's Facebook page.

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