The Swiss sailor Alan Roura has set a new provisional monohull solo record time of 7 days, 16 hours and 55 minutes on the classic New York to the Lizard course. Subject to ratification he breaks the existing record which was held held by Marc Guillemot by more than 12 hours.
"Alan believes that the best way to prepare for the next Vendée Globe is to build miles aboard his boat in its new foiling configuration. This record stems from this basic idea. " says Julien Villon, who collaborated with Gwénolé Gahinet on the routing for Roura.
Things lined up nicely for the 26 year old Swiss skipper who memorably finished 12th on the last Vendée Globe on his previous IMOCA, also La Fabrique.
"These things always need a bit of luck and some successes. We knew the record was within reach if Alan managed to stay on schedule during the first six days of the passage. When he did it Marc Guillemot had struggled a bit in the last few miles. For us we were riding a new depression that gave the boost needed for the last hours." said Villon
According to Villon the technical team of La Fabrique ensured that not only was the boat immaculately prepared after her winter refit, but the logistics and planning were carefully detailed and executed. Roura and the team planned the attempt well. The delivery to New York was done by some of the technical team along with Sebastien Audigane who he will compete with Alan on the 2019 two handed races.
When they assembled there they did not hang about in New York waiting, but instead Roura jumped at the first opportunity
The choice was made to start and get well ahead of a low-pressure system that was leaving the east coast of North America and to start off sailing as far and as fast as possible ahead of the front.
After that there was a small high pressure ridge to cross before being spurred on by a second depression which took him past the finish line which is the transit between Ushant and Lizard Point.
During the whole record attempt the solo skipper of La Fabrique was pushing hard all the time to ensure he could hold on to a high average speed rather than having to push close to the limits of the boat.
The race against the clock is different from a race against real time opponents, sometimes there is the feeling to slow down or ease back, or even to give up.
"Fortunately I was in constant contact with my two routers who kept cool heads. They really listened to me, advised me, it was a real team effort." Says Roura.
From this period of high intensity Transatlantic sailing the skipper has learned much more about his boat in its new configuration, but there is a job list of things to fix and improve, all part of the process required to optimise and maximise reliability.
“It is when we push the boat near to the limits that we start to break things and learn what is reliable and when and what to replace. There was nothing major on the way across but there are always small routine jobs to do, all perfect training for the next Vendée Globe."This record really validates the changes made to the boat with the addition of foils which do radically alter the way it handles.” Alan Roura explained
After this successful attempt Alan Roura is making a short express pitstop in Falmouth to embark his technical team before the return to Brest and Lorient where the team will make some repairs before the Fastnet.
"I expect to spend most of that passage asleep.” Grinned Roura.
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