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4 May 2005, 10:43 am
News article - Style G 11696
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St. Malo, France

Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR) and her four man crew on board the trimaran B&Q finished the Record SNSM at 18:32:16 GMT yesterday after completing the 284 mile passage from St. Nazaire to St. Malo, France. They have established a new record for the Maxi class category of 1 day, 3 hours, 23 minutes and 29 seconds but failed to beat the record of Thomas COVILLE (FRA) on Sodebo set on 20 April 2005.

B&Q started the record yesterday off St. Nazaire at 15:08:47 GMT in light conditions which increased to around 15 knots of breeze approaching Belle Ille. Then east of Belle Ille an unexpected big increase in wind and direction forced an about turn: 'The wind increased to 40 knots in just eight minutes and shifted by 60 degrees as we made a transition through a front caused by a small complicated low to the west of us. We had no choice but to go back the way we came and run with it while we reduced sail,' said Ellen.

Through the night the wind strength was inconsistent demanding between eight and nine sail changes by the crew although a good wind direction from the south-west allowed B&Q to sail a pretty direct course towards Ushant. By 0700 GMT this morning, B&Q was rounding Ushant sailing deep downwind at around 14 knots before gybying to reach along the north coast of France to St Malo: 'It has been a great day's sailing today,' said Ellen, 'with either a full sail or one reef and gennaker but conditions last night weren't ideal for record pace. It's good to have arrived in St. Malo. It's been a great experience and well worthwhile doing to help promote the SNSM.'

The Record SNSM is a 284 miles passage, passing the coasts of Loire Atlantique in Pays de Loire then the coasts of Brittany. This course highlights the 56 SNSM stations between Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Malo. The Socient Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) is the equivalent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Great Britain, and just like the RNLI is funded solely by public donations.

Thomas COVILLE on Sodebo established a new Record SNSM for the ORMA 60 class on the 20 April in a time of 1 day, 1 hour, 37 minutes and 17 seconds at an average speed of 11.04 knots.

B&Q crew

Christian POLLET (cameraman)

Passage duration
Location / B&Q time / ORMA 60 Sodebo time

Start time: 15:08:47 GMT
Belle Ille: +06:47:25 / +03:12:55
Glénan: +10:03:37 / +07:35:28
Sein: +13:21:31 / +13:34:05
Ushant: +15:19:30 / +15:04:13
Batz: +20:52:31 / +17:44:31
Bréhat: +23:42:19 / +21:32:30
Finish time: 18:32:16 GMT
Record SNSM duration: 1 day, 3 hours, 23 minutes and 29 seconds / 1 day, 1 hour, 37 minutes and 17 seconds

Offshore Challenge (As Amended By ISAF). Image, B&Q a few hours before crossing the finish line:© Jacques Vapillon/DPPI
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