Maybe these guys should get flight pay. On November 17, Jean-Pierre Mouligné and his crew aboard the 50-foot sloop CCP/Cray Valley smashed the record for the fastest passage from Newport to Bermuda in a monohull.
Mouligné and his team made the 765-mile passage to St. George’s in two days, five hours, 55 minutes, and 55 seconds. This beats the previous record, set in June 1996 by the 80-foot maxi Boomerang, by more than three and a half hours.
Averaging 14.2 knots in strong northwesterly winds, CCP/Cray Valley hit a maximum speed of 30.6 knots and never did less than 13 knots for the entire passage.
“It was a terrific, if bumpy, ride,” said Mouligné. The sailors were thrown from their bunks when they tried to sleep. “It was difficult to stand inside the boat,” said Mouligné. “The seas were 20 to 25 feet high. Needless to say, we didn’t eat or sleep much for two days.” Mouligné relied on weather routing from Bob Rice of Bob Rice’s Weather Window in Wolfeboro, N.H. “Bob picked the right weather for our boat,” said Mouligné. “He was a critical factor in our success.” A late-October attempt by Mouligné to break the speed record from Newport to Bermuda was called off, despite a 325-mile day, due to a dying breeze.
On November 13, the 40-foot trimaran Greenwich Propane missed breaking Boomerang’s record by 11 minutes. Propane had an elapsed time of two days, nine hours and 42 minutes. However, John Barry III and crew did set a new multihull record for the passage.