Route of Discovery attempt

Steve Fossett's PlayStation waiting for weather in Cadiz

Monday February 3rd 2003, Author: Stuart Radnovsky, Location: Transoceanic
Arriving at their Andalucian base of Puerto Sherry several days ago, American skipper Steve Fossett's 125ft (38m) maxi-catamaran PlayStation is getting ready for an attempt on the 'Christopher Columbus Route' - the East - West TransAtlantic Record. Also known as the 'Route of Discovery' and the 'Trade Winds Route', this record would complement Steve and crew's historic West-East (NY - UK) Transat record passage of 4d 17h 28m 6s set in October 2001.

Their target for the Cadiz - Canaries - Bahamas course (officially registered as 3,884.83 nm by the World Sailing Speed Records Council - is not the legendary Admiral's 10 week voyage of 1492, but a rather more recent record - the excellent current mark of 10d 14h 53m 44s set in June 2000 by the 110ft maxi-cat Club Med, co-skippered by Grant Dalton and Bruno Peyron.

As always on a record attempt, Steve and his international crew of 12-14 will be looking for a powerful weather system to launch them towards the Canaries and onwards across the Atlantic.

Yesterday, Steve described the decision process for when to summon the rest of the international crew to Cadiz:

"After considering an initial forecast for an 1800GMT departure February 3, we have decided to hold out for a better opportunity. The February 3 situation was a little light on wind strength and required gybing to get to Gran Canaria. We want to be able to lay the Canaries with decent wind so we have time to struggle through the last half of the route as is usually required."

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