Three island circumnavigations

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JULY 18 – Three recent attempts at breaking speed records circumnavigating islands were all successful. French sailor Olivier de Kersauson broke the record for circumnavigating Australia, four British powerboaters smashed the record for circling the British Isles and a team of British teenagers set a new time for sailing around the Isle of Wight.

· After battling 70-knot winds and a small tornado, French sailor Olivier de Kersauson, aboard his 112-foot trimaran, Geronimo, completed a 6,500-mile voyage around Australia on July 10, finishing in 17 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes and 39 seconds. David Pescud aboard Kaz, a Lyons 54, set the previous mark of 37 days, 1 hour and 23 minutes in 2003.

In 1997, de Kersauson set a record for sailing around the world in 71 days, 8 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds aboard his 89-foot trimaran, Sport Elec.

· Experiencing fog, rough seas and engine troubles, four British men on July 13 broke the round the British Isles record for powerboats.

Chris Strickland, John Puddifoot, Gordon Compton and Jan Salkowski, aboard Seahound V, a 32-foot Scorpion cabin rigid hull inflatable, navigated a 2,000-mile journey clockwise around the isles, a news report says, around Ireland, the Shetland Isles, the Scillies and the Outer Hebrides. They finished after 72 hours and 27 minutes at sea, shaving nearly a day and half off the previous record, set in 2004 by Jon Aldiss and Wayne Johnson.

· Eleven British sailors, aged 11 to 14, on July 9, sailed three Optimists around the Isle of Wight in 11 hours and 11 minutes, breaking Olympic Medalist Nick Rogers’ time set in 1987. It was the first known attempt at the record in 18 years, a news report says.

The sailors apparently rotated positions by leaping between the Optis and three rigid-hull inflatables. The remainder of the group rested on a support boat trailing the race.

Jason Fell