Montreal August 31st 2016 - Monday August 29th 2016, is a new date in Quebec sport sailing history when Maxime Loiselle and Olivier Leduc have registered a new record. Aboard their Nacra 17, they sailed from Jacques-Cartier bridge (Montreal) to Pierre-Laporte bridge (Quebec) in exactly 11 hours 48 minutes.
Maxime Loiselle, a Valleyfield native is the man behind the idea of this challenge. Well known for his Nacra 17 catamaran feat, Maxime is in preparation with his teammate Justine Antaya for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games in that category. Seasoned navigator and holder of multiple titles on catamaran, Loiselle wanted to promote the sport and the St-Lawrence river through this challenge. Stakes were high but the challenge won.
Justine Antaya was to be part of the Bridge-to-Bridge challenge but health problems kept her ashore. Therefore Olivier Leduc, enthusiast of big thrills was of the adventure.
Maxime and Olivier departed on board their Nacra 17 on Monday August 29th 2016 at 5h 40min 30sec AM. The departure line was the clock tower in Montreal harbour and the Calder sculpture on Saint-Helen Island. They crossed the line at Jacques-Cartier bridge (west side) at 5h 45min 20sec. After an excellent start and an average speed of 15 to 16 knots, the two athletes were confronted to mother nature who decided to be against them just before arriving at Trois-Rivières. With high winds up to 30 knots and waves between 3 and 4 feet, the catamaran capsized several times and the main sail was ripped. But all these events did not affect the crew, as they reached Laviolette bridge (west side) in Trois-Rivières after less than 6 hours at 11h 44min 32s AM.
After a short 15 minutes break and the change of the main sail, the crew got going again in peak shape and high spirited to sail towards their record. At 5h 33min 20 sec PM and after 11h 48 min of racing, Maxime Loiselle and Olivier Leduc crossed the finish line at Pierre-Laporte bridge (west side).
Afterwards the crew passed Pointe à Carcy (Montcalm street in Lévis) at 6h51min23s PM and arrived in the Beauport bay where followers were waiting to great their feat.
The Quebec Sailing Federation is happy to recognize and ratify this new sailing record from Jacques-Cartier bridge in Montreal to Pierre-Laporte bridge in Quebec city in exactly 11h 48 minutes.
In 1999, Denis Poupart had also established a record on his trimaran Virga (30 feet Farrier design). From the Tower clock (Montreal) to Pointe à Carcy (Québec) he had sailed the distance in 15h 14 min 8sec. Maxime Loiselle and Olivier Leduc on their Nacra 17 have sailed the same distance in 13h10min 53sec. The Quebec Sailing Federation recognizes and ratifies this new record.
We would like to thank the officials who timed the challenge: Natalie Matthon, Dominique Vallée, Gaël Simon and Marie-Ève Gélinas.
Congratulations to the crew on the successful outcome and feat.
Credit photo : Émilie Gaumond