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Yacht breaks speed record — twice

JAN. 17 — The 24-hour monohull speed record fell twice recently during the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town, South Africa, to Melbourne, Australia.

The crew of ABN Amro Two logged 558 and then 563 nautical miles traveled in a day, averaging 23.3 knots in the Southern Ocean, news reports say. The team bettered the 546-nautical-mile record set by the crew of ABN Amro One during the first leg of the race in November. The World Speed Sailing Record Council will have to ratify the new record.

“The boys are absolutely stoked with cracking the 550 mark, although we don’t want to celebrate too soon as the guys around us are going pretty damn fast as well,” ABN Amro Two’s navigator Simon Fisher says in a report. “It has been an awesome 24 hours though, phenomenal speeds, but safe and under control — a testament to how incredible this new class [of boats] is. What an awesome race.”

Late last week the crew of the American team Pirates of the Caribbean reported that their boat suffered a crack around the keel and was taking on water, according to news reports. Over the weekend a shark became trapped in the boat’s rudder and had to be removed.

As of Monday, the standings had ABN Amro One in first, ABN Amro Two in second and trailing by only 13 miles, and movistar in third. The crew of Pirates of the Caribbean was in fourth place.

— Jason Fell