Yachting Art Magazine

Tour of the British Isles Class40 record attempt

In the absence of the traditional races of the first half of the year, the skipper of Class40 Crédit Mutuel, Ian Lipinski, will be tackling a new challenge in the next few days: a record attempt in the solo round the British Isles race.

Tour of the British Isles Class40 record attempt

As soon as the weather conditions are right, Ian Lipinski will embark on a demanding adventure: 1,773 miles (3,283 km) along the coast of the British Isles to be covered in currents, rocks, maritime traffic, wind farms, oil platforms or sand banks. 

For the winner of the 2015 (series) and 2017 (prototype) Mini-Transats and the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre, this objective is an opportunity to return to single-handed sailing. "It's a great challenge which allows me to regain my energy after this curious period of confinement. I haven't sailed single-handed since 2017, and the time has come for me to give myself a new challenge. To do that, I'll have to tame my boat single-handed, but above all I'll have to manage my sleep well, which will be thwarted by the complexity of a long navigation along the coast and in traffic. I'll be able to rely on a weather cell ashore for navigation, but for the rest, I'll be on my own.

Free of the modus operandi ! 

The course Ian Lipinski will be rubbing shoulders with can go either way, depending on the weather conditions at the time. Ian will also be able to choose his start and finish line: either Cape Lizard, the southern tip of England, generally chosen for record attempts, or the south of the Isle of Wight.

On his way, Ian will cross Irish Kerry, Dingle (the European city closest to New York), the Hebrides Islands to the west of Scotland and Shetland, the northernmost point of Scotland, etc.

Ian Lipinski declared on this occasion on Yachting Art: "The crossroads between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean at the northernmost point of the course will surely be tricky! The west coast of Ireland is magnificent and wild, but also very exposed.... In spite of these traps, I'll have the pleasure of sailing often during the day since, close to the summer solstice, the nights will be very short with long twilights".

The reference times of the record

The record that Ian Lipinski set himself to beat in Class40 is the one set by Phil Sharp and his crew (Julien Pulvé, Pablo Santurde del Arco and Sam Matson) in 2018, during the last edition of the Round Britain and Ireland Race.

The British team took 8 days 4 hours 14 minutes and 49 seconds to set sail from the Solent and return, at an average speed of 9.03 knots (16.7 km/h). If he completes the lap, Ian's time will be recorded by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.  Other records exist, set by boats in different categories. Few have rubbed shoulders with them single-handed: in August 2010, Sidney Gavignet completed the grand tour in 4 days 15 hours 9 minutes and 27 seconds, aboard the 105-foot trimaran Oman Air Majan. With 12.15m of hull, 115m2 of canvas upwind and 275m2 downwind, Ian Lipinski won't be able to aim for the same time.   

"The mutualist elected representatives and employees of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale are all on Ian Lipinski's side, appreciating his human value, sense of innovation and spirit of adventure. The originality of his approach is well reflected in this record attempt. It echoes that of Crédit Mutuel, a bank that belongs to its customers, based on solidarity, attentiveness and quality of service," said Nicolas Théry, Chairman of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale.

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