The record was last broken three years ago to the day...
The Alinghi D35 crossed the Société Nautique de Genève start line at 12:00 this morning to attempt to break the Ruban Bleu record currently held by Philippe Cardis who completed the 66.5nm course in 4h53'19” on 18 October 2007.
The temperature was a bracing eight degrees and the forecast was east-north east 16-20knots. For a record attempt on the Lake, the key, according to Pierre-Yves Jorand is “constant wind speed, although the direction is probably more important than the speed because you need to avoid tacking or gybing as much as possible. The sea state is also important: the flatter the better, especially for the D35 that lacks hull volume – every wave slows the boat dramatically.”
The record attempt follows the same course as the Bol d'Or, so from Geneva to Le Bouveret and back; the full stretch of the lake. There a few rules to obey: you must start before 1300 for safety reasons (night sailing being prohibited) and you must achieve the record before the end of October (too cold after that). Alinghi has not attempted the Ruban Bleu before, although both Pierre-Yves Jorand and Christian Wahl have. Jorand was a record holder in 1993 with the multi-hull Poseidon, setting the record at just over five hours.
The Alinghi team is also trying for the fastest speed within 1km and the highest average boat speed in 1 hour – we will check back later to see how they did...