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Marc Guillemot new title holder of the North Atlantic record

News International-French

10 Jul 2013

On Saturday 6th July, Marc Guillemot smashed the solo North Atlantic record for a monohull with a time of 8 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes and 20 seconds – or 15 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds less than the previous record set by the British skipper Alex Thomson in July 2012.

Marc Guillemot covered the 2880 miles of the distance between New York and The Lizard at an average speed of 14.59 knots. He is now on his way back to his home port of la Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany.
The skipper of Safran, who previously smashed the record twice with a crew on a multihull (in 1984 and 1988), has done it again on his first attempt sailing solo on a monohull.
Before setting out from New York, Marc Guillemot said that he wanted to do something amazing sailing solo to get over his early exit from the Vendée Globe.
Marc Guillemot will be competing in the Fastnet Race in August racing double-handed with Pascal Bidégorry. A good way to prepare for the Transat Jacques Vabre that the two men will take part in on Safran next November.

Technological Inputs
One of the most innovative aspects of the Safran project is the extensive involvement of the Group’s engineers, giving the boat the benefits of technologies transferred from cutting-edge aerospace and defense applications.

More than 180 engineers from the Group companies were involved in every stage of the boat’s construction, contributing their expertise in a wide range of high-tech fields including composite materials, modeling, hydraulic engineering and onboard electronics. Our engineers established a close working relationship with the naval architects, Marc and his team, shipyard, project manager and specialized engineers.

  • Rudders
    To avoid delamination, Safran’s rudders are made of carbon fibers woven in three dimensions, a technology derived from the Group’s aerospace research, which will be applied on the next generation of commercial jet engines. The rudders of a sailboat, crucial to controlling the craft, are often subjected to severe shocks in collisions with UFOs (unidentified floating objects) or sea creatures. Even with systems for automatically retracting a rudder on contact, this can still result in major damage, with delamination that may lead to breakage of the whole part.
    With the 3D woven carbon fiber technology, instead of being laid on top of each other in successive layers, are first interwoven on Jacquard looms (like those used in the textile industry) before being applied to the rudder main beam and the leading and trailing edges. The advantage of this procedure is much greater resistance to shock and virtually no delamination after impact
  • Hull
    Experts in composite bonding for space applications carried out traction and delamination tests of samples of the composite materials used on the hull to analyze their behavior and identify their mechanical characteristics. The data generated by these tests was used to adapt the material’s structure for each part of the hull, thus shaving about 10% off the weight in relation to conventional construction.
  • Mast
    Already used on ship rudders, the new 3D woven carbon composite technology was used this time to make the mainsail rail for the new mast on Safran, an innovative development. Furthermore, unlike conventional rails, this rail takes up some of the loads affecting the entire rigging system.

Safran has developed proven expertise in 3D woven carbon composites (used in particular on certain aircraft parts), which involves "weaving" carbon threads on a Jacquard type loom to make the part. This type of structure offers several key benefits:

  • Strength and reliability: the mechanical properties of 3D woven parts make them more damage tolerant than conventional carbon parts, and the rail runs virtually no risk of being torn away.
  • Lightness and performance: the new woven 3D technology, coupled with a redesign of all mast attachment systems, leads to substantial weight savings and therefore higher performance.

Two Safran companies, Snecma and Safran Engineering Services, contributed their expertise in 3D woven technology and dynamic computation systems.

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