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2014 Press Releases

NEWSFLASH: World Record for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Volvo Ocean 65, Azzam, skippered by Ian Walker, crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes at 22.20.28 BST on Friday 15th August 2014 with an elapsed time of 4 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, 28 seconds.

This breaks the previous World Record and Race Record for a monohull set by Volvo 70 Groupama, in 2010, by 1 day, 08 hours, 16 minutes and 27 seconds. Azzam's record is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

This is the second World Record broken during the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Volvo Ocean 65s expected to finish this evening

The Volvo Ocean 65 fleet are expected to finish the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race this evening. Will Azzam, skippered by Britain's Ian Walker, hold off Team Campos and set a new course record? Who will win the battle for third place? Dongfeng, Alvimedica or SCA? Will SCA set a new women's record for the course?

Twist of Fate

Chinese team on VO 65, Dongfeng, in the harsh race conditions. Credit:Riou/Dongfeng Race Team Day Five: AM Update

The first three days of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race produced fast downwind conditions for the entire fleet. However, yesterday afternoon a northwesterly air flow headed the fleet yet to round Out Stack, and the changeable weather is due to continue today. Only a few yachts will benefit, for many it will be a disadvantage. After four days, the remaining competitors will be fully in tune to the routine of life at sea.

Yesterday, at approximately 1400 BST, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Volvo Ocean 65 Azzam, skippered by Ian Walker, rounded the Fastnet Rock, leading the fleet and over 40 miles ahead of Team Campos, skippered by Iker Martinez. Almost immediately Azzam gybed offshore onto starboard and didn't gybe back for 90 miles. Team Campos followed Azzam offshore, but gybed for the Scilly Isles, 50 miles earlier than Azzam, which turned into a ten mile gain for the Spanish team. Bear in mind that while they can receive regular weather updates and position reports, the teams cannot see the RORC race player and cannot see each other's immediate moves until the next update. At 0800 BST, Azzam was 30 miles ahead of Team Campos with 130 miles to go and is expected to finish the race today sometime before dusk.

"We took the gybe offshore as a precaution," commented Ian walker by satellite phone to the RORC Media Team. "We wanted to stay in the best pressure and get a good angle to the Scilly Isles but avoid the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme). Compared to the last four days, we are racing in comfortable conditions with the off watch able to get some sleep. However, we expect our lead to be whittled away over the next few hours as the breeze develops from behind. In the Volvo Ocean Race many legs end with this scenario. As we approach land the wind can change for the leader, allowing the boats behind to catch up. We have a big lead but if we park up, even for a couple of hours, it will completely vanish."

The battle for third in the Volvo Ocean 65 Class is currently being led by Team Dongfeng, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier. The Chinese entry for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race was 16 miles ahead of SCA, skippered by Sam Davies, and Alvimedica, skippered by Charlie Enright.

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An Extraordinary Series of Events

Sidney Gavignet and his team from Musandam-Oman Sail. Credit: Oman Sail/Mark LloydSidney Gavignet and the crew of Musandam-Oman Sail, a MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, at 12.42.36 BST on Thursday 14th August 2014.

This is an elapsed time of 3 days, 3 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds and, subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council, a new Outright World Record for the Round Britain and Ireland course and a new race record for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race.

It was almost unthinkable that a 70ft trimaran, with no ability to decide when to start, could defeat a 140ft trimaran that had decided exactly when to set off. However a fantastic boat, a perfect performance and an extraordinary series of coincidences lined up to make the impossible a reality.

Skipper, Sidney Gavignet

"I didn't think this was possible but we had exceptional conditions and a boat with amazing potential that was used properly. I know this course well because I have the solo record for the Round Britain and Ireland. I like it; it is a great course, very challenging, and I am very thankful to Sevenstar and the RORC for organising this race. Loick Peyron was the record holder and he phoned me after we crossed the line to say congratulations. He is a gentleman and someone I really respect as a sailor and a person but I know he will want his record back!

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NEWSFLASH: Musandam-Oman Sail have taken Line Honours

Sidney Gavignet and the crew of Musandam-Oman Sail, a MOD70 Trimaran crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes at 12.42.36 BST on Thursday 14th August 2014 with an elapsed time of 3 days, 03 hours, 32 minutes, 36 seconds. This breaks the previous World Record for a multihull held by Banque Populaire 5 in 2011, by 16 minutes, 38 seconds and is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

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