Groupe Bel demolishes Transmed record
Having left Marseilles on 2 June at 13:32 local time, Kito de Pavant's IMOCA 60 Groupe Bel reached Carthage, Tunisia, the next day at 16:16:15 after a crossing lasting just 1 day 2 hours 43 minutes and 30 seconds (average speed of 17.1 knots) to set a new monohull record for the Transmed course (subject to ratification by the WSSRC.
De Pavant broke his own solo record of 18 hours and 37 minutes set in 2009 and broke the outright monohull record set by the crew of Giovanni Agnelli's 27m maxi Stealth, by 2 hours and 19 minutes. Groupe Bel's time is in fact over 1 hour and 5 minutes outside of Thomas Coville's outright solo record by 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Groupe Bel now enters the Giraglia Rolex Cup, following victory in the Grand Prix Guyader Douarnenez in early May and as the fastest monohull to cross the Mediterranean.
"I'm really happy!" said de Pavant on his arrival. "It was a beautiful weather window with 30 knot and a few squalls on the way. The biggest top speed was 28 knots and I felt totally confident on board to arrive in perfect shape in Tunisia. To beat the absolute monohull record is a fine performance but we would still have done better. Off Sardinia this morning, the wind did not blow as expected and I had to make two gybes in a transition zone which caused me to lose almost two hours."
The wind then strengthened off Carthage causing Groupe Bel's boat speed to surge to order 20 knots despite a short ill-defined sea.
TransMed absolute monohull record (solo and crew): 1 June, 2013, Groupe Bel (60ft, 18.28m), Kito de Pavant 1d 2h 43' 30 ", speed 17.1 knots (31 km/h)
Monohull solo: June 2009, Groupe Bel (60ft, 18.28m), Kito de Pavant, 1d 21h 20m 29s, speed 10.10 knots (18 km/h)
Outright solo: September 2012 Sodebo (102ft, 31m), Thomas Coville, 1d 1h 38mn 36s, speed 17.62 knots (32 km/h)
Outright crewed: May 2010, Banque Populaire V (131ft, 40m), Pascal Bidégorry, 14h 20m 32s, 32nds speed (60 km/h)
Previous outright monohull record: September 1998 - Stealth (90ft, 27m), Giovanni Agnelli, 1d 5h 2m 6s speed 15.77 knots (30 km/h)