Sidney Gavignet sets pace in Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race


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The Independent Online

Sidney Gavignet and the crew of the 70-foot trimaran Oman Sail-Musandam have set a storming pace in the delayed Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, covering over 600 miles in 24 hours and having rounded the turning point of Outer Stack, Muckle Flugga and heading south outside Ireland.

They were on course to beat the record of 3d 3hr 49m 14 sec set by Franck Cammas and Gavignet already holds the singlehanded record.

Leading the new breed if Volvo 65s was British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi’s Azzam, chased by the recently launched Spanish rival Team Campos, whose skipper Iker Martinez has yet to announce its title sponsor. Third of the group was the Turkish-American boat, Alvimedica, fourth the Chinese entry Dongfeng, and fifth the all-woman team on Sweden’s SCA, skippered by Sam Davies.

Retired, but unhurt, are the two-handed Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Simon Clay, in Calais for repairs, and two Class 40s, Concise, skippered by Ned Collier-Wakefield, and Cats@phone, skippered by Conrad Humphreys. 

The Danish flag will fly over the 2014/15 Volvo round the world race as it was confirmed that the Australian Chris Nicholson will skipper Vestas Wind Systems, the seventh to line up for the start in Alicante in October. This is Nicholson’s fifth tour of the planet.

Two Danes, Nicolai Sehested and Peter Wibroe, will feature in the eight-man crew. Sehested, 24, is among the youngest from his country to have competed in the race.

“Overall, I’m delighted that we will have seven teams on the start line, all racing the brand new Volvo Ocean 65 one-design boats, a concept that was introduced only two years ago,” said race boss Knut Frostad in Alicante.