Yacht breaks 20-year-old Round Ireland sailing record

Musandam - Oman Sail circumnavigated the island in just over 40 hours

A new round-Ireland record by sail has been set on Wednesday by an Omani trimaran skippered by French sailor Sidney Gavignet, beating the previous record by almost four hours.

 

A new round-Ireland record by sail has been set on Wednesday by an Omani trimaran skippered by French sailor Sidney Gavignet.

Musandam-Oman Sail, which is the flagship of the Sultanate of Oman, completed the circumnavigation in 40 hours 51 minutes and 57 seconds, reaching reported speeds of 38 knots off the west coast.

The time, which is subject to verification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), looks to be almost four hours under the record set by the late US businessman Steve Fossett in 1993, in his 18m (60ft) trimaran Lakota in September, 1993.

Fossett’s multihull had taken 44 hours, 42 minutes and 20 seconds, and on board with him were Irish sailors Cathy McAleavey and Con Murphy – parents of Irish Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy.

This new attempt is not Gavignet’s first, with weather preventing his last plan two years ago. He holds the current Round Britain and Ireland record, set last August.

His six-man crew included Omani sailors Fahad Al Hasni, Yasser Al Rahbi and Sami Al Shukaili, who were members of the 2014 two-island circumnavigation.

Also on board the trimaran, which set off from Dun Laoghaire on Monday evening, were Spanish sailor Alex Pella and French multihull veteran Jean Baptiste Levailland.

Helmsman Fahad Al Hasni said it was “both scary and exciting because we saw 40 knots of wind and massive waves that we reckoned were around six metres ... but the main challenge was the cold”.

“It is still winter here and my hands were so cold I still can’t feel them but I’m really happy because there have been some very famous sailors who have made attempts on this record, but we are the ones who now hold it,” he added.

Oman Sail chief executive David Graham said it was a “great accomplishment”.

The 50 per cent Omani crew showed that the “ present and the future of sailing in Oman is on the right course”, he said.

Oman Sail is a national initiative established in 2008, with a pledge to teach 70,000 Omani children to sail by 2020.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSR) will take several weeks to confirm if a new record has been set.

The WSSR was established in 1972 to provide independent ratification of sailing records set all over the world, and it has ratified a number of records set for circumnavigating Ireland by sail under different categories.

These include two records set in 2005 – by the Cityjet/Irish Times monohull, skippered by French sailor Jean-Philippe Chomette and crew in two and one-third days, and Belgian sailor Michel Kleinjans’s single-handed circumnavigation in Roaring Forty in four days,one hour, 53 minutes and 29 seconds.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.