Round the island record broken during Cowes Week


There are no
speeding tickets awaiting racing yachts on the south side of the Isle of Wight
but, if there were, the traffic cops would have had a field day as two of the
new ocean greyhounds which are MOD 70 trimarans both smashed the old round the
island record.

First across the Royal Yacht Squadron line was the French yacht Foncia, skippered by round the world wizard and double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux. He arrived back of Cowes in just 2 hours, 21 mins 25secs, beating the record of 2hr 33 min 55 sec that has stood since 2001 and was set by Steve Fossett in the 125-foot Playstation.

Just one minute and 28 seconds astern and also beating the record but not setting the new one, was the French-skippered Oman Sail Musandam, Sidney Gavignet running the show with the close collaboration of Britain’s Brian Thompson.

Thompson, still recovering from four days in hospital to deal with an arm infection, also featured in other Playstation triumphs but one slow manoeuvre approaching the Needles Lighthouse at the western end of the island let Foncia sneak through and the chase was on.

Both were flying down the back of the island, spray everywhere and green water occasionally hosing the deck with the speedo constantly between 25 and 30 knots.

Turning the corner at the eastern end and negotiating numerous lobster pots the speeds at times increase to 34 knots –well, 33.9 – and the underwater hazard of lobster pots turned into harder hazard of several fleets of boats making their way in the opposite direction as they raced in Aberdeen Asset management Cowes Week.

Some clearly has hearts in their mouths as they saw the two speed machines approaching, others were revelling in the spectacle.

It was a day to remember – well, two hours and 20 minutes – for all on board but the thought of making such hectic progress for days on end, 24 hours a day, as they did recently when making their ocean debut from New York to Brest is a little boggling.

In the Solent they were matched by two Open 60s, Mike Golding’s Gamesa and Joff Brown skippering Artemis, some Olympians and some celebrities to give a new twist to the Artemis Challenge, named after the Scottish-based financial investment institution, not the Swedish inspired America’s Cup challenger.

For the MOD 70s this was, in part, an opportunity to show off a new class which starts its European circuit in Kiel at the end of this month, progressing to Dublin, Cascais, Marseille and Genoa.

And for the winners, Desjoyeaux and Golding individually plus jointly as a team, there were equal shares for charity of a GBP12,000 prize pot, Desjoyeaux designating the Institut Curie, Golding Save the Children.       

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam