Record setting day on a monohull
Published on December 4th, 2023
Records are made to be broken, which is what Thomas Ruyant (FRA) did when he set a new solo 24 hour distance monohull record on his IMOCA For The People during the Retour à La Base solo transatlantic race from Martinique to France.
After starting on November 30, it was between 1430hrs UTC on December 3-4 when he sailed 539.94 nautical miles (still to be ratified by World Sailing Speed Record Council). This beats the 2017 record mark of Alex Thomson set on January 16 during the 2016-17 Vendée Globe of 536.81.
While some of the leaders had recorded greater distances ‘on the water’ (actual distance traveled), the record is measured on the Great Circle (theoretical route), between point A and point B.
Ruyant’s pace moved him into third position, and with the leaders making 22-24 knots, there is every chance his new mark might fall again. However, the accomplishment is another positive sign for his new Antoine Koch/Finot Conq-designed foiler which had recently won the 2023 Transat Jacques Vabre from France to Martinique.
“It looks a little like we saw on the Transat Jacques Vabre that the Koch boats have this edge,” observed Jack Bouttell who was co-skipper on the TJV with Sam Davies. “They have this quad set up with the smaller J2 and J3s which in certain wind conditions they can set as staysails and it is clearly very effective, they are very much optimized for that configuration.”
The leaders are expected to complete the 3500nm course by December 9.