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22 September 2005, 03:41 pm
KLEINJANS Set Sights On Round Ireland Record
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WSSRC Record Attempt
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

Tomorrow the Belgian Open 40 Roaring Forty and her skipper Michel KLEINJANS (BEL) will set off in an attempt to break the single-handed Round Ireland record, which has only recently been taken by Irishman Michael LIDDY and his Beneteau 40.7 in 5 days, 12 hours, 11 minutes and 46 seconds.
The Open 40 Roaring Forty is a very different type of boat, specially conceived for single-handed sailing. She belongs to the first generation Open 40 footers and was built in 1997 to a design of Ad KONIJNENDIJK and the Lutra Group, who were also responsible for the design of the Dutch Fastnet winner Tonnere De Breskens from Piet VROON. With all the many miles spend on board of his yacht, KLEINJANS knows his boat very well and is a serious contender to break the record.

Last June KLEINJANS entered Roaring Forty in the single handed OSTAR, which had to become one of the highlights of his career. Unfortunately after a few days into the race he had to retire while leading the fleet, due to rig failure. In the meantime KLEINJANS won the traditional Cowes to Dinard race in the double-handed class.

Since then the boat has been in Dun Laoghaire, the official starting place for every Round Ireland record attempt.

The Belgian skipper plans to set off on Friday at 1100 hours local time, when a fierce southeasterly should take him all the way over the northern tip of Ireland, and hopefully a bit further. Once on the Atlantic side, he hopes to benefit from a big shift and use the predicted westerly to take his boat back to Dublin. 'I think I can do it in three days and a half, but if I can do it in less than that, I won't fail to do so,' said the very confident skipper.

The total distance of the planned circumnavigation is 708 nautical miles, with LIDDY's current record completed at an average speed of 5.35 knots.

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