TWOSTAR 1994

More records broken

In 1994 eighteen yachts went to the line, but nine did not finish. The fleet was led home by Laurent Bourgnon and Cam Lewis in the 60 foot trimaran Primagaz in a time of 9 days 08 hours and 58 minutes for a new race and multihull race record. Cherbourg Technologiesskippered by Halvard Mabrine and Christine Guillou came 4th in a time of 15 days 00 hours and 31 minutes for the monohull race record. Thirty-eight men and two women from 6 countries entered 20 yachts in the fourth edition of the TwoSTAR. The race offered the prospect of being the fastest to date with a fleet ranging from nine super-fast 60ft multihulls and monohulls to a tiny 26ft catamaran.

In the event 18 yachts came to the start in blustery winds for what turned out to be an exciting race. Problems occurred from the start when PRB Vendee, one of the 60ft multis, lost way round the first mark in Plymouth Sound and drifted down onto BM Charles, at 30ft one of the smallest yachts, skippered by Michel Kleinjans and broke their mast above the spreader. Fujicolor, one of the fancied 60ft trimarans co-skippered by Loïck Peyron and Frank Proffitt, broke a spinnaker halyard and lost 20 minutes to the leader. The second to retire, later that night, was Haute Normandie following the appearance of stress cracks in the starboard hull. Lakota retired to Plymouth suffering problems with their sail and Mollymawk returned with sail track failure. In Flight returned when the crew became unwell, then restarted but eventually retired to the Azores. Jean Louis Miquel, skipper of Lege Cap Ferret Aquitaine, injured his hand when the 60ft trimaran was dismasted. The Irish coastguard recovered him by helicopter and co-skipper Jean Louis Roucayrol returned to France under engine power. Sixth to retire was French tri Twinsea with a broken shroud while lying third.

By day 5 race leaders, Primagaz and Fujicolor, were well ahead of the fleet and separated by only two miles but prospects of record breaking times appeared to have disappeared with contrary winds. Four days later the leaders were still battling it out only a few miles apart with 130 miles to go. Problems continued with Primagaz hitting a shark and both leaders hindered by fog.
The two French trimarans continued swapping place to the finish where Primagaz, skippered by Laurent Bourgnon and American Cam Lewis, crossed the line in 9 days 8 hours and 58 minutes smashing the previous record by 39 hours! Fujicolor (Loïck Peyron and Frank Proffitt) followed only 1 hour 20 minutes behind the leader also comfortably breaking the 1990 record. Meanwhile Maarten Dirkswager and Patric Mazuay were rescued by a merchant ship after Hubris 3 capsized.

Third place went to Dupon Duran, skippered by Pascal Harold and Lionel Pean, the first catamaran to finish beating the previous record by two hours. Their autopilot failed on the first day so they crossed taking 12 hr shifts on the wheel.

The next record was set by the 60ft French monohull Cherbourg Technologies finishing in fourth place beating the old time by over 15 hours. Their time was remarkable since they had to stop mid-Atlantic to repair a mainsail and co-skipper Christine Guillon suffered a broken toe.

The remaining yachts finished with the exception of British Tiger skippered by Brian and Wendy Rimmer assisted by their dog Lucy who retired when becalmed near the race deadline. Nine of the eighteen starters finished in a fast race that saw the previous tri, cat, and mono records well beaten.

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