Transatlantic sailing record

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Banque Populaire V, current record holder

Since the five-week voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, crossing the Atlantic, quickly and safely, between Europe and America has always been an important issue. Today, the route has become a classic one among skippers. The record is one of the most prestigious, next to the Jules Verne Trophy, for which it is often a good preparation.

This record can be achieved both ways: from west to east or from east to west. It can also be homologated single-handed or crewed, on monohulls or on multihulls. It is homologated, since 1972, by the WSSRC[1]

From west to east[edit]

This route is the fastest, as it follows the prevailing westerlies. It is the one that meets the most interest among skippers. The crossing must be made from Ambrose Light of (New York) to an imaginary line linking Lizard Point, Cornwall to Ushant. The distance is around 2,880 nautical miles (5,330 km; 3,310 mi).

Crewed [2][edit]

Time Yacht Skipper Crew Date Average speed
9d 17h United States Dreadnought Samuel Samuels 1859[3] 12.79 knots (23.69 km/h)
12d 4h 1m 19s United States Atlantic Charlie Barr 1905 10.20 knots (18.89 km/h)
10d 5h 14m 20s France Paul Ricard Éric Tabarly Éric Bourhis, Georges Calvé, Dominique Pipat 1980 12.15 knots (22.50 km/h)
9d 10h 6m 34s France Elf Aquitaine Marc Pajot 1981 13.18 knots (24.41 km/h)
8d 16h 36m France Jet Services 2 Patrick Morvan Jean Le Cam, Marc Guillemot, (Serge Madec) 1984 14.29 knots (26.47 km/h)
7d 21h 5m 42s France Royale 2 Loïc Caradec 1985 15.76 knots (29.19 km/h)
7d 12h 49m 34s France Fleury Michon VIII Philippe Poupon 1987 16.48 knots (30.52 km/h)
7d 6h 32m France Jet Service V Serge Madec Marc Guillemot 1988 17.07 knots (31.61 km/h)
6d 13h 3m 32s France Jet Service V Serge Madec 1990 18.97 knots (35.13 km/h)
4d 17h 28m 6s United States PlayStation Steve Fossett Stan Honey, Ben Wright, Dave Scully, Gino Morrelli, Peter Hogg, Shaun Biddulph, Dave Calvert, Paul Van Dyke, David Weir 2001 26.26 knots (48.63 km/h)
4d 8h 23m 54s France Orange II Bruno Peyron Roger Nilson, Bernard Stamm, Ludovic Aglaor, Florent Chastel, Pascal Bidégorry, Jacques Caraes, Ronan Le Goff, Jean-Baptiste Epron, Yann Guichard, Clément Surtel, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant 2006 28.54 knots (52.86 km/h)
4d 3h 57m 54s France Groupama 3 Franck Cammas Franck Proffit, Stève Ravussin, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Sébastien Audigane, Yann Guichard, Ronan Le Goff, Bruno Jeanjean, Loïc Le Mignon, Pascal Blouin 2007 29.81 knots (55.21 km/h)
3d 15h 25min 48s France Banque Populaire V Pascal Bidégorry Ronan Lucas, Kévin Escoffier, Yvan Ravussin, Ewen Le Clech, Sébastien Audigane, Florent Chastel, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Marcel Van Triest, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Xavier Revil 2009 32.94 knots (61.00 km/h)


Time Yacht Skipper Date Average speed
11d 11h 46m 36s France Explorer Bruno Peyron 1987
9d 21h and 42min France Pierre 1er Florence Arthaud 1990
9d 19h and 22min France Explorer Bruno Peyron July 1992
7d 2h 34m 42s France Primagaz Laurent Bourgnon June 1994 17.47 knots (32.35 km/h)
6d 4h 1m 37s France IDEC Francis Joyon 6 July 2005 19.75 knots (36.58 km/h)
5d 19h 29m 20s France Sodebo Thomas Coville 15 July 2008 20.97 knots (38.84 km/h)
5d 2h 56m 10s France IDEC Francis Joyon 16 June 2013 23.30 knots (43.15 km/h)

From east to west[edit]

Groupama 3, current record holder from east to west, and previous record holder from west to east

This crossing is made between Cadiz and San Salvador Island, for a distance of 8300 kilometres or 4,481 nautical miles (8,299 km). It was also called Road of the discovery in honor of Christopher Colombus and his 1492 crossing.


Time Yacht Skipper Crew Date Average speed
12d 12h 30m 27s France Jet Service V Serge Madec 1988 14.91 knots (27.61 km/h)
10d 14h 53m 44s New Zealand Club Med Grant Dalton Franck Proffit, 2000 17.58 knots (32.56 km/h)
9d 13h 30m 18s United States PlayStation Steve Fossett 2003 19.52 knots (36.15 km/h)
7d 10h 58min 53s France Groupama 3 Franck Cammas Franck Proffit, Stève Ravussin, Pascal Blouin, Loic Le Mignon, Bruno Jeanjean, Sébastien Audigane, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Ronan Le Goff, Marcel Van Triest 2007 25.04 knots (46.37 km/h)
6d 14h 29m 21s[4] Switzerland Spindrift 2 Dona Bertarelli & Yann Guichard November 2013


Time Yacht Skipper Date Average speed
11d 3h 17m 20s[5] France IDEC Francis Joyon November 2004 16.76 knots (31.04 km/h)
10d 11h 50m 20s France Sodebo Thomas Coville 8 July 2005 17.79 knots (32.95 km/h)
9d 20h 35m 3s France IDEC Francis Joyon 7 November 2008 18.94 knots (35.08 km/h)
8d 16h 07m 5s France IDEC Francis Joyon 15 February 2013
6d 23h 42m 18s[6] France Banque Populaire VII Armel Le Cleac'h January 2014

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ WSSRC ratified passage records
  2. ^ WSSRC transatlantic W-E crewed
  3. ^ "1859 Record Holds". The Cook County Herald (Grand Marais, Minnesota). August 19, 1905. p. 2. Retrieved 13 July 2015. Capt. Samuels and the Dreadnaught in 1859 made better time than Capt. Barr and the Atlantic in 1905. This is a matter of history. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

See also[edit]