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Ocean Planet/USA 05 Update from Bruce Schwab:
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 


Two of my heroes:

Unless you’ve been hiding under a sail cover or your computer was broken, you should have heard that two major sailing records have recently been crushed.

First, the “Eastabout” (normal, primarily downwind direction) solo nonstop around-the-world record was battered by 20 days, by Francis Joyon on the 90ft (this is solo, remember!) trimaran IDEC. His new record of 72 days is not only the fastest solo time around the world, but beats all but the two fastest fully crewed records! In fact, I think he now has the fastest time PERIOD for going around with no weather routing assistance. Did I mention this was on a 90ft trimaran? This guy must be an absolute gorilla.

But is he truly the most stubborn sailor alive? Possibly, but one must also consider the man who just obliterated the heinous “Westabout” (the WRONG way, or primarily upwind) route around the world. Longtime solo racing legend Jean Luc Van den Heede (everyone calls him VDH) took a whopping 29 days off the existing record to finish in 122 days. This was his third try on this boat, after cracking the keel box the first time, and then breaking the mast the second try. This guy has been on a mission! His 80ft aluminum monohull, Adrien/Pechiney, must be glad to be back…

Here’s a link to the English version of VDH’s website: http://www.vdh.fr/Gb/default.htm

Missed my last Around Alone/Vendee globe talk? I hope to get another good turnout at my next show which will be be this Saturday, March 13th, 5-7pm at the Meeting Room at Portland Yacht Services. Perhaps the two records above will come up in discussion? Along with my slide show, Q&A session, and progress report, there will be a lot to talk about.

For you “internet” sailors, check out these links to these recent online articles that have been written on our program lately:

by Mark Matthews on Sailnet:

by Jonathan Wye on Sailing Anarchy:

by Jerry Harkavy of the Associated Press:

Today I do an inteview with Maine’s Channel 8 reporter, Steve Minich, which should be fun. With all the press we are getting, let’s all hope it helps us bring in some big checks, and soon…;-)

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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