Despite encountering several high pressure systems towards Bruno Peyron has taken two days off Steve Fossett's trans-Pacific record
It was at 23 hr, 46 mn and 40 s GMT, on Sunday August 16th 1998 that the maxi-catamaran Explorer skippered by French yachtsman Bruno Peyron and American Skip Novak, crossed the finishing line, under the Golden Gate, at the end of the Pacific Ocean crossing record under sail, fully crewed, between Yokohama and San Francisco.
The new record set by the crew of Explorer in 14 days, 17 hours, 22 minutes and 50 seconds means that the record held since August 1995 by American Steve Fossett in 16 days, 17 hours, 21 minutes and 19 seconds, aboard the trimaran Lakota, has been bettered by almost 2 days (exactly 1 day, 23 hours, 58 minutes and 29 seconds).
Apart from the two co-skippers, the very international crew was made up of two Japanese Toru Kikushi and Kojiro Shiraishi, an Australian Paul Larsen, an Italian Elena Caputo and a young Frenchman Nicholas Pichelin.
For the French skipper, the objective of this new campaign in the Pacific was essentially to improve the record time, but above all to pursue the international promotion of The Race/La Course du Millénaire, which will start on December 31st 2000 and for which the Yokohama to San Francisco run is one of the courses along which future challengers of The Race may qualify.
On arrival Bruno Peyron told us of his satisfaction : “no, the race wasn’t too difficult, our very international crew was in top form. The boat worked perfectly. The objective above all was to improve this record in the perspective of The Race. What we hoped for was to mobilise our Japanese friends, interest the Americans and prepare them for the story we are going to tell them soon”.
As soon as the finishing line was crossed, an announcement from the Elysée Palace, in the voice of President of the Republic, Monsieur Jacques Chirac, congratulated the yachtsman and his crew, encouraging him for “the challenge he wishes to set in the race round the world, The Race”.