Crew sets sail speed record on Newport-to-Bermuda route

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Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche co-skipper Ryan Breymaier and the crew of the 105-foot trimaran Lending Club 2 said they established a new world sailing speed record today for the 635-nautical-mile course from Castle Hill Lighthouse, in Newport, R.I., to Kitchen Shoal Beacon in Bermuda.

The new record, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, is 23 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds at an average speed of 27 knots.

Four days ago, the council ratified the Lending Club 2’s record-setting passage across the English Channel to confirm their place in the sailing record books; Guinness World Records has also confirmed that they will include the record. That 138-nautical mile passage, at an average speed of 26.36 knots, was completed in 5 hours and 15 minutes — 8 minutes faster than the previous record, which had stood since 2002.

The Lending Club Sailing team had been on standby at Newport Shipyard for a week while the crew prepared the boat and waited for suitable conditions — a moderate reaching breeze and manageable sea conditions, which allow Lending Club 2 to reach speeds higher than 40 knots.

They crossed the starting line at Castle Hill Lighthouse at 05 34 40 UTC (1:34:40 EDT), making roughly 5.5 knots. Three and a half hours into the passage, they had reached speeds of 30 knots, and by the 12-hour mark they were halfway to their destination. At 04 44 32 UTC (1:44:32 EDT), the new record was set, 15 hours faster than the old record, by virtue of Lending Club 2 averaging 27 knots over the 635 nautical miles.

“We set our sights on three speed sailing records for the 2015 season: Cowes-Dinard, Newport to Bermuda and the 2,215-nautical-mile Transpac,” Laplanche, who had surpassed 40 knots during the passage, said in a statement. “Newport to Bermuda was a challenging 23 hours, 9 minutes and 52 seconds. We have had an exciting ride down here and with two new world records now under our belts, we’re more primed than ever for the Transpac.”