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Volvo racers set new monohull benchmark

NOV. 29 — While competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, the crews of ABN Amro One and ABN Amro Two broke the monohull 24-hour distance record.

Skippered by Mike Sanderson, ABN Amro One traveled 538 nautical miles in 24 hours at an average speed of 22.41 knots, according to information on the team’s Web site. The former record was set in April by skipper Bouwe Bekking aboard another Volvo Open 70, Movistar.

“We have had some tough times on board in the past few weeks, breaking the boat on the first night, a fire on Day Two and then having to watch a more than 150-mile lead disappear, but this for sure is an amazing highlight,” Sanderson wrote on the site.

Simon Fisher, navigator for ABN Amro Two — which was in second Sunday, 64 miles behind ABN Amro One — described life aboard the boat as it traveled 537 nautical miles in one day. “Without a doubt this is definitely life at the extreme,” Fisher wrote on the site. “The whole boat is shuddering and shaking as we crash through one wave to the next, all the winches and blocks are screaming and cracking like cannon fire under the load.

“Water is pouring down the deck and into the hatch so we have to bail out every half an hour or so to avoid turning the leeward side of the boat into a swimming pool,” he continued.

The World Speed Sailing Record Council will need to ratify ABN Amro One’s new time.

— Jason Fell