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CoastWaterSports 2014

NEW World 24 hour record

by Mer & Media on 9 Feb 2001
new - big 24-hour distance record for club med

Club Med has proven itself once again to be the longest-legged sailing boat in the
world. Over the past 24 hours the Grant Dalton-skippered catamaran has sailed at an
average speed of 27.8 knots. This amounts to 652.4 miles in 24 hours and a new World

Club Med has sailed the equivalent of the distance between Paris and Rome, Boston and
Charleston, Athens and Cairo or San Francisco and Vancouver. Although many commercial
vessels such as ferries go faster than this over short, pre-defined routes it is only certain
military ships that are able to cover more than 10 degrees of latitude in one day. To achieve this
in a sailing boat is exceptional.

Earlier this morning a highly charged and excited Grant Dalton explained to his shore team how
it all came about: 'It all started at about 8 or 9 GMT yesterday. Its been relatively easy, record
breaking weather, the angle was right and the sea state reasonable. Now that we are more than
half way round the world, we've consumed more than half of our food and fuel, so the boat is
much, much lighter and just sails faster.

We are beam reaching with flat water and a good wind strength, not too much, but enough.It's
been tempting beforehand to have a go at the record but the boat has always been loaded up
too much. And yes, we have toyed with the thought of records before in The Race, but often the
wind and wave conditions either wouldn't allow it or would take us too far from the best course
around the world.'

On the importance of keeping it going constantly throughout the period Dalton said this: 'We
managed to do just one sail change manoeuvre during this last 24 hours. Normally these really
slow you down over the time it takes to execute, up to 40 minutes and more sometimes, and
hence miles covered drops. Last night the wind was dropping a touch and, more importantly,
shifting, so we needed to put up the Solent and full main. I called for all hands on deck, which is
rare, and the whole thing took the crew just 18 minutes. During that time the speed dropped to
about 20 knots which is a loss of about six miles in that hour.'

And on the importance for the crew of these major psychological boosts, Dalton said this: 'Just
before they reached New Zealand our big rivals Innovation Explorer threw down the gauntlet
when they bettered our 24-hour distance by just two miles. When they broke our record we
were struggling through the Cook Straits, with our lead haemorrhaging in the light airs. At the
time is was like having salt rubbed into the wound for us.

We've picked up that challenge and at the first opportunity, less than week later, we've blown
their record away. It feels fantastic!!!' But sailing a record distance doesn't happen down a
pre-defined track or in a controlled stadium environment. Club Med is in the Southern Ocean
where it is very cold, wet and generally really unpleasant. On top of that the stretch of water the
boat is crossing is littered with icebergs and their debris.

Danger lurks all around: 'Once on my last watch we sailed past a big iceberg, to leeward. There
just wasn't time to alter course upwards to pass to windward. Ed Danby was steering so I went
to the mast and, like a traffic warden, waved my arms to indicate which way I wanted Ed to turn
to avoid the 'bergy bits'. Directing traffic at 32 knots in the Southern Ocean - a lot of fun...'

At 8.30 today Club Med led Innovation Explorer by 826 miles. On the remaining course in the
Southern Ocean and the arrival at Cape Horn, expected this weekend, Dalton said this: 'This
pace is going to last another day and a half before we hit 'the Wall', this big trough we've been
chasing for the past few days. Then we'll slow down but by then we should be approaching the
Horn. Innovation Explorer is falling out the back of the system we are riding the front of, so as
long as we stay in it we'll open up the lead big time.'

Leading positions at 11:00 GMT today

1. Club Med 8,483 miles to finish
2. Innovation Explorer +827miles
3. Team Adventure 4,894 miles
4. Warta Polpharma 5,844 miles
5. Team Legato 6,726 miles
6. PlayStation - RETIRED 14.01.01

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