After 6 days at sea, Club Med is 330 miles ahead of the record

Despite a slight lull in the last 24 hours, Club Med skippered by Grant Dalton and Bruno Peyron had a 330 mile lead this morning, after six day’s racing, over the East-West Atlantic record held by Jet Services V between Cadiz and San Salvador/Bahamas (12d, 12h, 30mn, 17s).

The atmosphere was relaxed on board Club Med this morning during the 09.00 radio session. Relaxed but concentrated because they must remain attentive to the slightest wind variation and so make best use of the slightest breath. And it looks like this situation is going to last until the finish in San Salvador. 330 miles ahead after 6 day’s racing, enough to beat the record, especially as Serge Madec and his crew also had very light airs on their approach to the Bahamas.

Confidence reigns aboard. While the watches are more relaxed, everyone is at his station and concentrating on the priorities. Mike Quilter (NZ), the navigator, is remaining vigilant. ‘It’s very pleasant sailing right now…even too pleasant. The speed is nothing compared with the last few days. Club Med is a fantastic boat and I would never have imagined going at such speeds before. During the 24 hour record I had the impression that I was in an aeroplane. Right now I’m concentrating on the weather analysis and I’m trying to make sure that we go for the right places at the right time. As I’m not in the watch system it means I have to pay attention at all times’. For Jacques Caraës (F), one of the crew, the time spent on Club Med is magic : ‘It’s unlike anything I have ever experienced before on any other boat. The most remarkable thing is the feeling of impressive power and safety. For the moment our goal is to qualify for The Race, but beating the East-West record is within reach. Everybody on board is working towards it.’ After 6 days at sea, the big blue catamaran is 1590 miles from the Cockburn lighthouse radio antenna on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas.

A message of congratulations from Steve Fossett (the previous holder of the 24 hour record) was received on board this morning. He took advantage to announce that his boat PlayStation, will be back in New York at the end of June to make another attempt at the West-East Atlantic record between New York and the Lizard (UK). Why not a duel in perspective for the two fastest boats in the world !