Steve Fossett to attempt new transatlantic record

PlayStation is to attempt to break the 11-year-old record belonging to France's Serge Madec

Sunday April 8th 2001, Author: Sian Cowen, Location: United Kingdom
Since retiring from The Race due to a broken daggerboard and mainsail problems, the huge 125 ft catamaran owned by Steve Fossett has been repaired in Florida and had some minor modifications.

She is now sitting in Miami where she is due to attempt to break the speed record of 2 days 22 hours 50 mins 16 secs from Miami to New York. This is presently held by Explorer which was co-skippered by Bruno Peyron of France and Cam Lewis of USA and set on 2 June 1999.

The attempt has been put back due to problems with the boat which have so far not been disclosed, but they hope to be leaving the Miami dock in three weeks' time. Once in New York she will be ready and waiting for the right weather window for Steve to break the record of 6 days 13 hours 13 mins 32 secs for the west-to-east transatlantic crossing currently held by Serge Madec of France for the past 11 years.

Steve Fossett and his present crew of Stan Honey (navigator), Ben Wright (boat captain), Damian Foxall, Peter Hogg, Gino Morrelli (co-designer), Dave Scully and Brian Thompson will now be joined by Pete Melvin (USA), Roland Gaebler (GER), transatlantic race winner Thomas Coville (FRA) and Sean Biddulph (UK).

At present there are no other challengers attempting the west-to-east record although there have been rumours regarding Team Adventure, who may try to start a new record by sailing the alternative route from east to west.

As for the future plans for Steve Fossett, he hopes to return to England possibly in time to take part in the Round the Island race on 16 June 2001 and then to carry on with his record breaking attempts in Europe, probably with both PlayStation and his balloon.

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