Jersey sailor Phil Sharp has set a new world speed record for sailing single-handed around the Isle of Wight.
He completed the circumnavigation in his electric zero-emissions Class 40 yacht OceansLab in just over five hours, smashing his target of six and half hours.
He set off at 8.24am on Sunday morning, and crossed the finish line at 1.29pm recording a time of 5 hours 5 minutes and 4 seconds and averaging a speed of 9.8 knots (18.1 km/h)
The previous record of 6 hours 29 minutes and 32 seconds was set in 2017 by Alex Alley.
. @Phil_Sharp_ has started his attempt at a new world record for the Around Isle of Wight, aiming to raise awareness of the urgent action required to reduce maritime air pollution along the UK coastline. Track him here…https://t.co/JizLbw47zo pic.twitter.com/BJ8ZrNMl20— OceansLab (@OceansLab_) December 1, 2019
If it is confirmed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council it will be Phil's third record, having already claimed the fasted Cross Channel and Round Britain times.
“It feels fantastic to now have three world records! Today was a very cold, fast, adrenaline packed sprint. My objective was to aim for 5 hours, which was always going to be tricky when dealing with gusty conditions solo and at times today the gusts really were quite severe, which kept me on my toes."
Phil was using this record attempt to raise awareness for the need to speed up clean energy innovation in the maritime sector.
"Industry targets need to be accelerated to better fall in line with climate change targets. We need to start introducing these technologies and replace fossil fuel systems in order to reduce harmful air pollutants. Inshore and commuting ferries would be a good start, and where levels of air pollution such as in Southampton are too high and hazardous to the health of local communities. Clean technologies exist now that can improve the quality of the air we breathe, change can and needs to happen now.”
⚡️ NEWS FLASH ⚡️@Phil_Sharp_ smashes single-handed world speed record for the Around Isle of Wight completing the circumnavigation in just over 5 hours – slicing 1.5 hrs off the previous benchmark. The record is subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. pic.twitter.com/USFJyEr790— OceansLab (@OceansLab_) December 1, 2019