Double whammy

Mari Cha IV adds the west to east transatlantic record to her 24 hour record
Yesterday saw another significant moment in sailing history and in particular the performance under sail power alone. It has been just over two months since Robert Miller's 140ft schooner Mari Cha IV was launched in Cherbourg. In that short space of time she has crossed the Atlantic - narrowly missing a hurricane that devasted Bermuda - and has completed one of the most incredible transatlantic record-breaking passages. Her latest voyage across the north Atlantic between Ambrose Light off the mouth of New York harbour and the Lizard point off southern Cornwall has seen her demolish illbruck Challenge's monohull 24 hour record - raising the bar from 484 miles covered in a day to 525. Clearly there is much more potential still to be gained here and the crew mutter reservedly about the possibility of her covering 600 miles in the right conditions. More incredible still has her overall passage time of just 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds at an average speed of 18.2 knots. This beats: - Bernard Stamm's previous record for the passage of 8 days 20 hours 55 minutes and 35 seconds by a phenomenal 2 days, 3 hours 2 minutes and 56 seconds. - the time of Bernard Tapie's Phocea (originally Alain Colas' 1976 OSTAR 236ft 4 master Club Mediterranee) of 8 days 3 hours and 29 minutes. This was set in July 1998 but the crew used powered winches Their record is impressively close to the long standing multihull record of Serge Madec and the crew of the 75ft catamaran Jet Services V, when in June 1990 they set a blisteringly fast time of 6 days 13 hours and 3 minutes. Aside from this the only other sail boat faster than Mari Cha IV across the north Atlantic is currently Steve Fossett's 125ft catamaran