PlayStation ready to sail

After modifications PlayStation will make The Race start says Fossett

Monday November 20th 2000, Author: Ed Gorman, Location: United Kingdom
The American balloonist and yachtsman Steve Fossett is confident he and his crew on the big cat PlayStation will be ready in time for the start of The Race on New Year's Eve, despite having spent over a month re-modelling and extending the bows.

Fossett says the boat, which has now been extended from 105ft to 120ft with length added at both the bows and the transoms, will be re-launched in Southampton at the end of November and will immediately begin sea trials. "Time is short before The Race," said Fossett, "but we should be able to complete our testing and still get to Monaco on time for the prologue events. The three transatlantic crossings we sailed last summer should have established the reliability of rigging and other equipment."

Fossett will confirm his final crew list for The Race by the end of November. According to chief boat builder Sean Regan, the final touches are being put to the re-build and the diesel engines, new trampolines, B Sat and microwave telecoms gear and other computer equipment are being installed.

PlayStation will leave the boatyard at Green Marine in Southampton on November 27 and will have her 147ft mast stepped a few days later. She will be fitted with new, lighter, rigging plus sails in Cuben Fibre. Fossett plans shake-down tests in the Solent and the English Channel before PlayStation heads down to the Med and Monaco for the prologue phase which begins on December 15th.

Despite the last minute alterations which are designed to help prevent PlayStation digging in at the bows at speed, the boat remains arguably the best-prepared of the new maxi-cats with Grant Dalton's Club Med, a close second.

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