Skipper Marc Guillemot fined £9,381 and ordered to pay £4,125 costs

Would-be record breaker Marc Guillemot was fined £9,381 and ordered to pay costs of £4,125 for travelling the
wrong way in busy traffic lanes off the Kent coast.

The skipper of the French racing yacht
Safran was sentenced at Southampton Magistrates Court on Thursday
December 6.

The Safran left Lizard Point in Cornwall on
June 6 2012, in an attempt to beat its
own previous record set in 2011 for the fastest sail around the United Kingdom
and Ireland.

11.43pm on June 6, the Safran was seen by Dover Coastguard travelling in a
North Easterly direction in the South West lane of the Dover Strait Traffic
Separation Scheme ( TSS).

the June 7 at 4am, the yacht failed to proceed in the appropriate traffic lane
in the Sunk traffic separation scheme.

its passage, several merchant ships altered course to avoid a collision with
the yacht.

Coastguard made a number of attempts to contact the yacht with no response.
Eventually the French Coastguard got in touch and pointed out that the vessel
was travelling the wrong way in the TSS.

replied saying he was trying to break the record for sailing around the UK and
Ireland and would not alter course.

total, the Safran travelled 28 nautical miles in the wrong direction in both
separation schemes. This was in breach of Rule 10(b)(i) of the Convention on
the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972. 

In passing sentence, the Chairman
of the Magistrates, John Johnson said: “We have heard this afternoon that Mr. Guillemot is
an experienced and confident yachtsman. “However, Mr. Guillemot did travel the
wrong way in the shipping lanes.

“For the offence on the 6 June, we
fine you £13,000 reduced by your early guilty plea to £8,700.

“For the offence on the 7 June, we
fine you £1,000 reduced to £666, once again for your early guilty plea.”

Kaimes Beasley, channel navigation information service manager at
Dover Coastguard, said: “The Strait of Dover Traffic Separation Scheme is
one of the busiest in the world.

“Mr Guillemot was reckless in his navigation during the hours of
darkness not only in the Dover Strait TSS, but also in the Sunk Traffic Separation

“He put his crew and other vessels at significant risk in order to try
to beat his previous record.”