The inappropriately named 'Pacific'
Sylvain Mondon, Gitana 13's router, announced it even before the maxi-catamaran had even slid its bows under the Golden Gate Bridge: "This Ocean is anything but Pacific!" Lionel LEMONCHOIS and his men were able to verify that the Pacific Ocean was far from peaceful as their router had indicated. By choosing to adopt a central route, in order not to extend the course, the sailors of Gitana Team knew that the weather conditions wouldn't be at all relaxing. However, such was the cost of swiping this record from the maxi-trimaran Geronimo. Between passages of fronts, rounding the high pressure zones - three in total-, managing the transitions and the negotiating of a storm, the crew of Gitana 13 knew how to pull out all the stops and track a route towards Yokohama. A tricky exercise, in which they counted on Sylvain MONDON (Météo France), a real twelfth man from his offices in Toulouse.
The record figures
Gitana 13 covered the 4,482 theoretical miles of this crossing at an average speed of 16.96 knots. However, in practice, the maxi-catamaran in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group, had to cover over 5,616 miles, at an average speed of 21.26 knots, to make Japan. Explanation: on this record the direct route would force the sailors attacking the record to adopt a very northerly trajectory to make Yokohama. In reality, the weather conditions dictate a much more southerly course then the ideal track.
With a peak speed of 39.7 knots, performed by the skipper of Gitana 13, it's a new personal record for the crew on this crossing. The best day recorded by Gitana 13 in terms of distance covered over the water in 24 hours is that of 3 April with over 612 miles on the counter. Finally, in terms of a lead, Gitana 13 racked up a 612 mile credit over Olivier de KERSAUSON and his men.
The crew on Gitana 13
Lionel Lemonchois (Skipper / helmsman / watch leader)
Jacques Vincent (helmsman / watch leader)
Ludovic Aglaor (helmsman/ watch leader)
Cyril Dardashti (trimmer)
Olivier Wroczynski (trimmer /computing manager)
Jean-Baptiste Epron (trimmer / Photographer)
Nicolas Raynaud (trimmer / video manager)
Stefan Fodor t(trimmer)
Kojiro Shiraishi (trimmer)
David Boileau (No.2 / trimmer/ deck hardware manager)
Léopold Lucet (No.1 /supplies and medical manager)
Gitana 13's records
North Pacific Crossing (San Francisco - Yokohama): *Subject to Ratification by the WSSRC
Record broken: 11 days 12 minutes 55 seconds
Time to beat - 14 days 22 hours 40 minutes 41 seconds
Departed San Francisco - Saturday 29th March at 22h45'45'' UTC
Finished in Yokohama - Wednesday 9th April at 22h58'40'' UTC
Route de l'Or (New York - San Francisco, via Cape Horn):
Record broken: 43 days 3 minutes 18 seconds (time approved by the WSSRC), improving on the reference time set by Yves Parlier by over 14 days.
Lionel Lemonchois and the crew of Gitana 13 have held the record since 28 February 2008.
The Record To Beat
Record: Transpacific E to W, San Francisco - Yokohoma
Skipper: Olivier DE KERSAUSON (FRA)
Dates: April 2006
Elapsed time: 14 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes and 41 seconds
Distance: 4,482 nm
Average Speed: 12.49 knots
Gitana Team - www.gitana-team.com
World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com