Monohull sets Channel Record Trophy
Adrien skipper, Jean-Luc van den Heede
Jean-Luc van den Heede's singlehanded round the worlder Adrien got underway with a full crew yesterday morning in an attempt to set a monohull for the Channel Record Trophy from Cowes to Dinard.
The 85ft aluminium monohull set sail from Cowes at 10.41 yesterday and crossed the line off the port near St Malo yesterday evening at 20.25GMT, becoming the fastest monohull over this route with a time of 11h 44m 12s.
The bearded Vendee Globe veteran skipper commented of the voyage: "Conditions weren't that brilliant. We never had more than 20 knots of wind. What's more, it came in from the west for almost the whole time. That meant that we were almost always sailing wind abeam or on a close reach, with the main and genoa up. Adrien sails well on this point of sail, but she would have been a lot faster under spinnaker in a 30-knot north-westerly wind".
Never the less, Adrien was able to use the currents to her advantage, except when leaving the Isle of Wight. When passing the Raz Blanchard between the Island of Aurigny and the Cotentin coastline, she even reached speeds of close on 20 knots. That was the most difficult part of the route to negotiate as you really have to make sure you are there when favourable currents are with you.
After having left Jersey to port, Adrien crossed the finish line at the Banchenou buoy, where her time was recorded officially by the Yacht Club de Dinard. In the process van den Heede knocked more than three hours off the time taken by Lawrie Smith on the Whitbread 60 Silk Cut in 1999.
This record marks the first line in Adrien's list of achievements and creates a monohull reference time for the Channel Record Trophy.
This passage forms part of van den Heede's training programme for his new attempt on the east-west circumnavigation record currently held by Philippe Monnet.. It was very good test for the boat which will be setting out to break the singlehanded round the world record in less than two months time. Adrien will be leaving her home port of Les Sables d'Olonne on 5 October 2002 to head for the start line of the round the world record off Ushant.
Van den Heede was over the moon about this first success and believes that with a little more wind and some real downwind sailing, the Channel Record Trophy can be brought down to within the 10 hour limit. VDH : "I'll be back to beat it once I've sailed round the world!"
See the following pages for photos of Adrien