Inspirational Story - London to Monte-Carlo Record.
Many thanks to Chris Strickland for allowing me to post this abbreviated version of this great story.
Breaking the London to Monte-Carlo Powerboat Record.
After a year of careful planning, at 7.09am on Thursday 20th July 2006, in his boat Seahound V, a 32ft Scorpion RIB powered by twin 320hp Yanmar Diesels, Chris Strickland and his crew of Gordon Compton, John Puddifoot and Jan Falkowski, crossed the start line at Gravesend, London on their way to attempting to break the record for the fastest sea crossing from London to Monte-Carlo a distance of 2,080 nautical miles. The team were also attempting to break the records for London to Gibraltar and Gibraltar to Monaco.
Settling down to 45knots and carrying 700litres of fuel they ran fast to St Peter Port, in Guernsey 235nm’s away across the English Channel, and after a bumpy crossing arrived at 13.30. Re-fuelling in twenty minutes they departed with 1500 litres for the night crossing of the notorious Bay of Biscay. Stopping off of Brest they put on their dry suits for what was expected to be a particularly hostile run to Sada in Northern Spain - 400nm’s away.
The crossing of the Bay of Biscay was uneventful except for a couple of heavy falls in the high swell during the night and they eventually arrived in Sada at 04.00am in the early morning with their colleagues waiting to ensure a quick re-fuelling. After a successful thirty minute stop they headed off out to sea again heading south for Lagos in Portugal another 400 plus nm’s away.
Running for most of the time into a tough 4/5 North Easterly they eventually arrived at 16.30pm on the Friday afternoon. It was here that they cooked one of their batteries and after this they had to run on just one battery for the remainder of the trip!
The crossing from Lagos to Gibraltar turned out to be rough, contrary to their expectations, however they crossed the line off Gibraltar timing in for the new record at 00.00am Friday night/Saturday morning being timed in with a flare. Continuing on to their next re-fuelling point in Ibiza they eventually arrived in San Antonio Harbour after covering 550nm’s, the longest leg of the record attempt.
As they left San Antonio Harbour they realised they were getting tight on time and would have to hammer to break the record. So for the next 400+nm’s it was flat out. Half way to their final destination they had to deal with a force 5 coming at them off the starboard bow, which being a typical Mediterranean sea came suddenly from nowhere.
Pushing on as fast as they could the team eventually arrived off Monaco with the flare shooting up into the night as Seahound V cleared the finish line. They were timed in at 22.22pm on Saturday 22nd July 2006, making their trip the fastest long distance offshore passage in powerboat record history of 2,080 nautical miles from London to Monte Carlo in 61hours and 11minutes, averaging just under 40mph, knocking 2 hours and 3 minutes off the previous record. They also established port-to-port records from London to Gibraltar and Gibraltar to Monte Carlo in the 30ft-50ft categories.
In my opinion this was a particularly heroic feet for an extremely brave team and their 32ft RIB. That record attempt took enormous courage and stamina. How they kept awake for 61 hours running in difficult seas with constant high concentration is inspirational.
After 10 years it’s time for another team to step up to the mark and attempt to break this, the greatest of all offshore records, The 2080 nautical mile London to Monte-Carlo run.