BRUICHLADDICH Distillery, on Islay, are supporting ocean yacht racer Phil Sharp as he prepares to attempt a record breaking sail across the English Channel in his Class 40 ‘Imerys’. He will cross the start line off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, at 06.30 UTC (GMT) tomorrow, 24th November.
The current cross-channel record for sailing a monohull via the long-established 138-mile Cowes-Dinard route was set back in 2004 at 12 hours one minute and 31 seconds by a much larger boat.
The new attempt is to be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
Skipper Sharp will be sailing solo and comments: “Trying to break the record in a boat this size is not going to be straightforward, but Imerys is light and responsive, and one of the fastest 40ft monohulls in the world.
“It will be blowing seriously hard all day tomorrow for the attempt, pretty much throughout the entire course, but it is definitely better to have a bit too much wind than too little.
“I’m looking forward getting out there and giving it everything, but aside from sailing fast I need to keep things under control. The sea state is currently set to be around three-four metres out in the Channel, and I’m hoping this doesn’t kick up too many breaking waves in the Alderney Race, which can get seriously nasty in strong winds.”
Meteorologist, Jure Jerman, said: “There is a lot of wind tomorrow, and conditions will be tough, but should be good for record-breaking and Phil has solid heavy weather experience.
“Weather windows like this from the northeast do not come around that frequently, and I have every confidence that as long as he manages the boat well, stays safe, and has no breakages, then a new world record is definitely in reach.”
Twitter users who are over 18 year-old and follow Bruichladdich and the hashtag #ChannelRecord are invited to guess what skippers Sharp’s new time will be – and the closest will win three bottles of whisky, one each from a newly released ‘Troika’ of ten year-old single malts.
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