Cityjetting around Ireland

The former Solune of Jean-Philippe Chomette undertakes fully crewed around Ireland attempt

Wednesday May 4th 2005, Author: Kerryann Conway, Location: United Kingdom
The 60ft yacht CityJet (formerly Solune), which set off from Dun Laoghaire last night
5.00pm in an attempt to break the monohull Round Ireland speed record, is now two hours ahead of schedule passing the Fastnet Rock in West Cork and is on target to beat the record.

Skipper of the CityJet, Jean-Philippe Chomette said that they are over five hours ahead of the existing held record but that the next 80 miles will be the most difficult and they expect to lose time along the west coast.

The current Round Ireland record is held by the Irish Independent monohull, crewed by Garry Keegan, Stuart Fogarty and Daragh Cafferky. It sailed around Ireland in three days, three hours and twenty seven minutes in November 2002.

The eight-person crew for this record breaking challenge includes co-skipper César Dohy, Matthieu Vincent as well as the British former Whitbread sailor and BT Global Challenge skipper Chris Tibbs, a renowned on-board navigator and meteorologist who holds the Round Britain records in both monohulls and multihulls. They are sailing under the burgee of the Kinsale Yacht Club.

The record breaking attempt will be monitored by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and, if CityJet is successful, the record will be registered with the World Speed Sailing Council (WSSC). Irish Distillers will also present the crew with the Cork Dry Gin trophy.

Mr Geoffrey O’Byrne White, CityJet Chief Executive said that it was fitting for the company to sponsor this record breaking project and wished JP and the crew every success in their efforts. “Jean-Philippe is from France and, as CityJet is an Irish company owned by Air France, we are delighted to strengthen the links between the two countries in this exciting way. Jean-Philippe is no stranger to Ireland and was part of the BMW Round Ireland Race last year, sponsored by CityJet. We are confident that if and when he breaks the record, this achievement will attract the attention of all sailing enthusiasts and will contribute, in some way, to the promotion of Ireland across Europe,” he said.

CityJet is based at Swords, Co Dublin, is a 100% owned subsidiary of Air France and employs over 500 staff in both its Dublin base and at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. They currently operate a fleet of 17 BAe-146 aircraft. The routes serviced include: Dublin and Paris Charles de Gaulle; Paris Charles de Gaulle to London, Edinburgh, Florence, Gothenburg and Zurich; Dublin to London City Airport; and Dublin to Malaga.

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