Wind fills in for Fossett

PlayStation on home straight for Round Britain record

Friday October 25th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Skipper Steve Fossett and his crew of 13 aboard the 125ft maxi catamaran PlayStation passed The Lizard at around 1635z this afternoon. At this time the big cat was picking up speed en route to their Round Britain and Ireland finish line at Ramsgate - some 282 nautical miles away.

They will need every bit of available speed through the night. All of their gains over the first 3 days were lost Wednesday night and Thursday morning as the new Atlantic Low pressure system (with its higher winds) only began to appear this afternoon.

The target time to arrive in order to break the current record (4 days 17 hours 4 minutes 23 seconds) is 0842 GMT (0942 BST) Friday morning.

Skipper Steve Fossett; "We lost a lot of time last night and earlier today with slack or low winds. Wind speed is now building... but we've got to average nearly 18 kts all the way in now. If we get the projected winds through the night, we have a fair chance. If not - we'll miss it."

Watch Captain Dave Scully: "It is going to be very, very close - not one of use is going to have any nails or hair left when this is over... We're currently making 17 kts in 11 kts of breeze - wind which is SLOWLY starting to build up. We're on the full Main and Solent - everyone is on deck trimming - and doing everything possible to maximise speed."

Through the evening PlayStation had picked up speed and was averaging just over 20 knots.

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