24 hours and a Whole Pile of Miles

Neal McDonald talks about breaking the mono-hull and multi-hull distance records
With PlayStation regrouping after their recent narrow miss at the trans-Atlantic attempt, Club Med in the boatshed repairing the damage sustained on their trans-Atlantic and Team Philips still quietly working towards a re-launch on 23rd September, it’s been a quiet week in the record breaking department. Taking time out from Club Med’s rebuild and refit is Neal McDonald, who can justifiably call himself one of the fastest men on the planet. Along with Jason Carrington, Neal now holds the record for the greatest distance sailed in 24 hours by both a mono-hull and a multi-hull. The pair were both aboard Silk Cut back in the 1997-98 Whitbread when she shattered the 24 hour record with a run of 449.1 nm. And Jason and Neal were together again aboard Club Med when she drove a coach and horses through the multi-hull and overall record earlier this year, recording 625.7 nm during an east-to-west trans-Atlantic run. McDonald was home in Hamble this week, trying to grab a few days from their collectively busy schedules with his wife, Lisa Charles-McDonald. Lisa is heading up an all-women’s Volvo Ocean Race challenge, Team Waterfront, and has been traveling the world talking to potential sponsors. But Neal managed to find a few moments to talk to madforsailing about the different experiences of breaking those two records. ‘I was a lot more scared on the Whitbread 60 (W60). The conditions were much heavier, 35 knots plus and six metre waves, whereas on the cat we had 25 knots and one metre waves. ‘It was also a lot easier work on Club Med, we go fastest reaching and so the sail changes tend to be a reef in and a reef out - nothing too dramatic. But on the W60 we were hard running in big seas and big breeze and every