As much as 100 miles of illbruck's record breaking 473-mile 24 hour run could be down to the Gulf Stream. So should it be allowed?

Following the announcement of illbruck’s record breaking 473-mile 24 hour run in the 7th leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, a number of people have questioned the validity of such a record when she was sailing in the Gulf Stream which was giving her a 4-knot magic carpet ride. This would mean that her actual distance sailed through the water would be less than 400 miles.

A new VOR 60 record was set by SEB on leg 1 of the VOR when she was sailing with much less assistance from the current and when she probably sailed more miles through the water. Likewise, previous record holder, Bernard Stamm in his Open 60 Armor Lux, was further east in the Atlantic when he set the record and so would have benefited less from the favourable stream.

However, the official view from the WSSRC is that for an ocean, as opposed to inshore record, tidal stream and current are not relevant. In other words, once ratified, illbruck’s record will stand – unless of course another of the VOR boats gets an even bigger ride on the Stream.