Multihull crew sail across the North Pacific in 11 Days 12 Minutes 55 Seconds 10/4/08

Gitana 13 can add the North Pacific crossing to its list of conquests by covering the 4,482 miles (of the ‘direct’ course) in 11 days 12 minutes and 55 seconds.

Leaving San Francisco on 29 March, Lionel Lemonchois and crew crossed the finish line off Yokohama, in Tokyo Bay yesterday (9 April) at 22h58 UT. The maxi-catamaran smashed the previous record time by 3 days 22 hours 27 minutes 46 seconds, held by Olivier de Kersauson on Geronimo since 2006.

By choosing to take a more central route – in order not to extend the course – the Gitana Team knew that the weather conditions wouldn’t be at all relaxing, and experienced some extreme weather conditions.

They covered the 4,482 mile crossing at an average speed of 16.96 knots. However in practice, the maxi-catamaran had to cover over 5,616 miles, bringing their average speed to 21.26 knots.

Their fastest speed of 39.7 knots is a new personal record for the crew. The best day recorded in terms of distance covered over the water in 24 hours was 3 April, with over 612 miles logged.

Sylvain Mondon, Gitana 13’s router explained: “we’re certainly very tired, as the past eleven days at sea have been intense. The Pacific offers some rapid and numerous weather sequences. In total we encountered two lows, including a very strong one at the approach to the Japanese coast, then three high pressures?Prior to our departure, the second part of our course was still very uncertain but everything fell nicely into place in the end. The storm over the past few days gave us a good boost on our journey. This period, though stressful, will remain a highlight of our time at sea. We had strong winds gusting to over 60 knots but it was the waves above all else which were impressive, rising to over 10 metres in cross seas. It was quite a spectacle.”

“Gitana 13 will remain in Yokohama until early May, since we’re continuing our series of records in the China Sea. The next destination for the crew is Dalian, China, after a 1,500 mile record crossing attempt between the two towns. We will then follow that by trying to set new record times between Qingdao, Taipei, Hong Kong and Macao, prior to returning to Hong Kong to set off on the Tea Route.”

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