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Olympic medal winner Charlie Ogletree hails record-breaking world speed exploits

Team Argo

Charlie Ogletree has hailed the world speed record-breaking exploits he and his Team Argo colleagues achieved in their high-performance foiling trimaran this week.

The Olympic silver medal winner was among the six-man crew on board the one-design MOD70 Argo that smashed the Bermuda to Plymouth, England world speed record with plenty of time to spare.

It took them just 4 days 19hr 23min 23sec to complete the 2,870 nautical mile journey, crossing the finish line on Wednesday to shave more than a day off the previous record.

“It was an intense trip at high speed all the way across,” American Ogletree told The Royal Gazette. “A great Argo programme lead by Jason Carroll.

“On board, the team of Chad Corning, Brian Thompson, Pete Cumming, Alistair Richardson, Westy Barlow and myself all worked incredibly well together to keep Argo going fast and together to set the record.”

Each of the six crewman spent equal time at the helm of the impressive multihull.

“We rotated every hour, so there is no dedicated helmsman,” Ogletree added. “Brian was navigator/helm/watch captain/trimmer while I was helm/watch captain/trimmer.

“Every team member has the title helm in their job description and we all shared helm/trim jobs.

“The MOD is unique in that you really need six equal and very well-rounded sailors to push the boat hard at all times. All six of us take turns doing all the jobs on-board; however, Brian and Chad handled the navigation side.“

The previous record of 5 days 11hr 57min 17sec was set by Team Argo’s sister ship, Phaedo3, in May, 2016.

Englishman Thompson, who already holds multiple world speed records, was also among the crew that set the previous mark on board Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70.

The Newport, Rhode Island-based team set sail for Plymouth from the official finish line of the Newport to Bermuda Race located directly off St David’s Lighthouse at 6.53pm on June 4.

They were able to capitalise on favourable downwind conditions most of the way sailing below the rhumb line on the edge of a weather front tracking across the Atlantic at speeds exceeding 31 knots.

“The weather routing and conditions all lined up to give us relatively flat water and moderate wind speeds to keep Argo’s average speed high at all times,” Ogletree, who won the silver medal along with partner John Lovell competing in the Tornado class at the 2008 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, added. “Congratulations to the Argo team and all involved on land and on board.”

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Published June 12, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated June 12, 2021 at 7:34 am)

Olympic medal winner Charlie Ogletree hails record-breaking world speed exploits

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