Trimaran Aims to Break Westabout Around-the-world Sailing Record

February 3, 2022

Yachting Journal

(Photo courtesy AST)

Two award-winning skippers are attempting to circumnavigate the globe westabout against the prevailing winds and currents in 122 days to break the current world record.

The Use It Again! duo, Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella, commenced their voyage from Lorient, France on January 4, setting sail aboard an 18-year-old refurbished trimaran, in an attempt to help promote and develop the circular economy. The skippers are sailing aboard Ellen McArthur's legendary B&Q Castomara, which saw her become the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handed in 2005.

Their objective for the record attempt is to demonstrate that we can re-think performance and live exceptional challenges while minimizing our impact on the planet. Adopting the principles of the circular economy using recycled, upcycled, refurbished and original parts, Pilliard has pursued technical innovation to give the trimaran a second lease of life while minimizing impact on the planet. For example, most sails are cut from recovered sails, the cabin has been refurbished using old windsurfing boards and reconditioned solar panels have been installed on technical fabric from scraps of fabric used to make car airbags.

The race also supports a unique scientific project to enable an ocean noise pollution research program. It involves recording the sound of the ocean and mammals, to create the first world ocean sound mapping for the purpose of ocean protection.

This challenge celebrates 500 years since the first round the world voyage by Magellan and Elcano. Only five people have since achieved the westabout round the world journey, and no one has yet achieved it on a multihull.

Applied Satellite Technology Ltd (AST), an official supporter to Use It Again!, has provided an Iridium Certus airtime plan, activated on a Thales VesseLINK terminal teamed with bandwidth management solution INTEGRA Control meaning the crew will be able to ensure the best use of bandwidth and connectivity throughout the journey.

Frédérique Gérard, AST Corporate Communications Director, said, “Pushing the boundaries and innovating in a meaningful way is close to our heart and values, and AST wanted to be part of this adventure, we wish Romain and Alex all the best and will be following their progress with much anticipation.”