Mean Machine Breaks North Sea Record

News brief, 5/21/07

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Http://meanmachine.sailteam.net/

The Volvo 70 Mean Machine set a new record for the North Sea Race, sailing the 185-nautical mile course from Harwich, England, to Scheveningen, The Netherlands, in 11 hours, 3 minutes, 50 seconds. Southwesterly winds of 16- to 32- knots helped CEO/skipper Peter de Ridder's crew smash the previous record by more than eight hours, and allowed six other boats to break the previous record. The rough conditions also caused 14 retirements."Dennis Goethals put it into the right words, as he called the crossing a quick Volvo Ocean Race tour", said De Ridder. "In 11 hours we have experienced many of the different aspects of the race, such as the importance of teamwork and boat development." Mean Machine set a 20-knot pace shortly after crossing the starting line on Friday morning; De Ridder praised the boat and crew with a strange string of metaphors. "She is a beast, but fun to tame down," he said. "Sometimes when you race it's like being a classically trained dancer-- the moves are soft and elegant, like with the TP52, but racing like this is different. It's pure 'rock and roll', for sure!"Team Mean Machine includes ocean racing veterans Dirk de Ridder, Simeon Tienpont, Jules Salter and Jono Swain.For more about Mean Machine, click here.