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6 October 2005, 10:28 am
KLEINJANS Sets New Single-Handed Round Ireland Mark
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WSSRC Record Attempt

At 1449 hours UTC yesterday Belgian yachtsman Michel KLEINJANS crossed the finish line off Dun Laoghaire to set a new single-handed record time Round Ireland of 4 days, 1 hour and 52 minutes, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC). On board his 1997 Open 40 Roaring Forty, KLEINJANS bettered the previous record by 1 day, 10 hours and 8 minutes.
After a delayed start due to a defective starter engine, KLEINJANS finally set sail on Saturday 1 October at 12.57.

After a very fast 180 nm run towards the southern tip of Ireland, he experienced very calm conditions off the south western coast. When the wind picked up again later on Sunday, Roaring Forty stormed northwards. On Tuesday morning the skipper reported one torn spinnaker, and many dolphins around the Open 40 when rounding Tory Island.

Three hours later Roaring Forty rounded Inistrahull in 22 knots of wind. KLEINJANS then realized that he would encounter a strong adverse tidal current in the northern channel, which in combination with the light headwinds forced him to tack close under the coastline. In the dark night Roaring Forty forced her way south, in increasingly lighter and shiftier winds, to conclude her Irish circumnavigation at 1449 yesterday.

According to her skipper, Roaring Forty could easily have notched of more time from the record, 'If only I had been able to start when planned, a week ago, I could have made it in just three days,' said KLEINJANS.

When asked for his future plans, the skipper confirmed that the Round Britain and Ireland Race as well as the French Route du Rhum are high on his 2006 agenda, although he knows he will be needing firm sponsorship for the Route du Rhum, 'The entry fee alone is rather on the high side for the amateur sailor that I am,' he admitted.

Roaring Forty is an Open 40 built in 1997 to a plan of Ad Konijnendijk (the same architect that designed TONNERE DE BRESKENS and the brand new FORMIDABLE of Piet Vroon).

The single-handed Round Ireland record as currently ratified by the WSSRC stands at, 5 days, 12 hours and 11 minutes, set by Irishman Michael LIDDY sailing his production Beneteau 40.7 Afaom.com.

Bert Janssen (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Michel KLEINJANS aboard Roaring Forty:© Bert Janssen
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