2014's Wild Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

This year’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race was a wild one from the very start—which was postponed 21 hours to allow Tropical Storm Bertha, a low-pressure system packing 50-knot gusts, to pass through before the fleet jumped off.
Author:
Publish date:
 The MOD 70 Musandum-Oman Sail screams across the finish line to set a new course record

The MOD 70 Musandum-Oman Sail screams across the finish line to set a new course record

This year’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race was a wild one from the very start—which was postponed 21 hours to allow Tropical Storm Bertha, a low-pressure system packing 50-knot gusts, to pass through before the fleet jumped off. After that, conditions were perfect, albeit grueling, as the fleet tore its way counter-clockwise for 1,800 miles from Cowes, England, then up around Scotland, where it doubled Muckle Flugga light in the Shetlands before heading back around Ireland and then up the English Channel to Cowes.

Among those reveling in the epic conditions was the MOD 70 Musandam-Oman Sail, which set a new course record of 3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, besting the previous mark set by the maxi-tri, Banque Populaire 5, by a nail-biting 16 minutes.

Map-EnglandScotlandIreland

“I didn’t think this was possible, but we had exceptional conditions and a boat with amazing potential,” said skipper Sidney Gavignet. “[Previous record holder] Loïck [Peyron] 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!”

Also setting a new monohull record was Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s VOR 65 Azzam, one of five VOR teams taking part as a run-up to the Volvo Ocean Race itself. Azzam completed the course in 4 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, chopping over 30 hours off the previous record, set by the VOR70 Groupama in 2010.

Among those who did not fare so well was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston aboard the Open 60 Grey Power, who is training for next month’s 3,500-mile Route de Rhum transatlantic race. Grey Power was apparently surfing along at speeds in the 20s when her mainsail split between the second and third reefs. For complete results, visit roundbritainandireland.rorc.org.

Photo courtesy of Oman Sail/Mark Lloyd

Related

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more