PlayStation underway

Steve Fossett and his crew set off to break Route of Discovery record

Saturday February 15th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
Leaving the historic Spanish port of Cadiz virtually at the stroke of Friday midnight, American skipper Steve Fossett's 125ft (38m) maxi-catamaran PlayStation has started her attempt on the 20-month old Route of Discovery record east to west across the Atlantic. The big cat crossed the line off Puerto Sherry, Cadiz a scant 40 seconds after the hour.

Fossett and his highly experienced international crew of 11 are attempting to break the 3,884 mile Cadiz-Canaries-Bahamas course record set in June 2000 by the 110ft maxi-cat Club Med, co-skippered by Grant Dalton (NZ) and Bruno Peyron (FRA). The current record stands at at 10d 14h 53m 44s

Northeast winds of 10-14 kts were reported at dock tonight as the big cat headed towards the start-line - but are expected to be much stronger - in the 30 kts+ range - once the Andalucian coast is cleared. A strong start on the run to Gran Canaria is vital - Fossett has already said he wants to reach the Gran Canaria turnpoint in less than 36 hours - and aim to reach longitude 043 30 west in four days - to give sufficient time to perhaps struggle with the lighter winds often seen over the final third of the course.

PlayStation's E-W TransAt Crew:

Steve Fossett (USA) Skipper/Watch Captain
Dave Scully (USA) Watch Captain
Pete Melvin (USA) Watch Captain
Brian Thompson (GB) Navigator
Peter Hogg (NZ) Crew
Mark Featherstone (GB) Crew
Dave Calvert (USA) Crew
Miki Von Koskull (Fin) Crew
Will Howden (GB) Crew
Tim Zimmermann (USA) Crew
Nick Legatt (ZA) Crew
Simon Fisher (GB) Crew

Several members of this crew (David Scully, Peter Hogg and Dave Calvert) were also with Steve in October, 2001 when PlayStation set her outstanding West-East Transat mark at 4d 17h 28m 6s. And former Fossett Watch Captain Brian Thompson has also rejoined the team - taking a break from his recent record trawl as skipper on Maiden 2 for more record sailing with Steve. A couple of broken fingers mean Brian will spend this trip at the nav station.

All of Steve Fossett's adventure challenges are supported by Michelob ULTRA, the new low-carbohydrate premium beer from Anheuser-Busch - the world's largest brewer.

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