Sidney Gavignet and the crew of Musandam-Oman Sail, a MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race with an elapsed time of 3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds – a record breaking time by a mere 16 seconds.
What’s more, the record was held by the 140-foot Banque Populaire 5, so Gavignet and his crew, which included South Africa’s Jan Dekker, beat a record set by a boat twice their size!
Skipper, Sidney Gavignet said “I didn’t think this was possible, but we had exceptional conditions and a boat with amazing potential that was used properly. I know this course well because I have the solo record for the Round Britain and Ireland. I like it; it is a great course, very challenging, and I am very thankful to Sevenstar and the RORC for organising this race. Loick Peyron was the record holder and he phoned me after we crossed the line to say congratulations. He is a gentleman and someone I really respect as a sailor and a person but I know he will want his record back!
The crew hit a new top speed for the boat of 43 knots. “You really need the right conditions, perfect trim and the time to set that up to get to that speed, and we hardly ever dropped below 25 knots the whole way round,” said navigator Damian Foxall. “Jan Dekker has done a huge amount of multihull sailing, including winning the America’s Cup, so when we were blasting down the West coast of Ireland, he turned to me and said, `Don’t you think Sidney should be thinking about preserving the boat for the Route du Rhum?’ I said, `Go and tell him that, he’s going for the record right now!’ We had in the back of our minds that it was possible – a long shot but it wasn’t until we got to the Fastnet, where the wind was not as light as we expected, we were still doing 30 knots and we were thinking – OK this could be possible!”