Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Marc Thiercelin smashes single-handed monohull record for Mediterranean crossing on DCNS 1000

[Source: DCNS] Marc Thiercelin at the helm of Open 60’ DCNS 1000 has written a new page in the history of Mediterranean crossings under sail. Marc, mentor of the DCNS Group’s Filière du Talent knowledge-sharing programme, crossed the finish line, off the Ras Quartajamah lighthouse, Tunisia, at 22.52.30 on Saturday 11 July after completing the Marseille-Carthage crossing in 33 hrs 13 min and 30 seconds at an average speed of 13.78 knots and over 12 hours faster than the previous record.

After a magnificent run South surfing wave crests under a stiff Mistral breeze, DCNS 1000 and skipper went on to squeeze every once of puff out of tricky weather conditions as they approached the North African coast. Marc Thiercelin’s first and hugely successful record attempt comes on top of his achievements as mentor of the DCNS Filières du Talent programme. “I was thrilled from start to finish. Thrilled with the superb conditions and our tight course. I’m completely covered in salt, but very happy to have been so at one with DCNS. This is the first time I’ve attempted this type of event. Racing against the clock got me really wound up, so to speak. A record attempt means going flat out from start to finish. DCNS is very powerful but also very stable. And she doesn’t need a full spread of sail to show her worth. I’m also very pleased with the input of Christopher Pratt, my 60’ trainee skipper under the DCNS programme. His routing was first class.”

Although the record is for a single-handed crossing, the success is the result of excellent teamwork between skipper Marc Thiercelin, on-board DCNS 1000, and Christopher Pratt, his trainee skipper and, on this occasion, his router at the shore-based control centre. Marc and Christopher took several key decisions together beginning with that to set off from Marseille early on Friday afternoon.

“Congratulations and thanks, Marc, for all the excitement. This record is all the more important to us at DCNS because it’s part of the Filières du Talent programme which focuses on the sort of knowledge sharing demonstrated by the way you and Christopher worked together. On behalf of the entire Group, allow me to congratulate you, Christopher and the entire team that has worked for a little over 18 months on the DCNS 1000 monohull,” said Christophe Lachnitt, DCNS Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, and prime mover behind the Filières du Talent programme

“It was absolutely wonderful,” said Christopher Pratt during the debriefing. “I already had some experience with routing during the Tour de France à La Voile, but that was only pre-start routing. This time, I was in touch with Marc throughout, so our relationship went from strength to strength. It was a very big lesson in knowledge sharing. Regarding the weather, I think we can say that we made excellent use of what you might call a good ‘summer window’. Not a once-a-century window, but a pattern that made our effort worthwhile.”

Record for North-South Mediterranean crossing from Marseille to Carthage
Distance: 458 nautical miles (about 800 km)
Category: single-handed, Imoca-class 60-foot monohull
Previous record: 1 day 21 hours 20 minutes and 29 seconds by Kito de Pavant on Groupe Bel on 4 June 2009


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