At an average speed of 24.38 knots Steve Fossett and crew have taken 3 hours off the Marseille, France - Carthage, Tunisia Record.
Steve Fossett confirmed in a brief and to the point report by phone as the 125' ft catamaran and crew of 13 reached North Africa:
"We did it - 18 hours 46min 55sec for an average speed of 24.38 knots. It went extraordinarily well - we'll send some quotes and comments on an email shortly - bye."
The passage took 18 hours, 46 minutes and 55 seconds.
Yesterday afternoon, 23 May 2002, Steve Fossett and crew crossed the start line at 14:58:46 GMT, targeting the 11-year old TransMed (Marseille-Carthage) record. They crossed the line approximately 1 hour after Giovanni Soldini's 60' trimaran 'TIM'.
Starting on the slow side, Fossett knew they need to achieve an average speed of 20.66 knots to break Florence Arthaud's record from August 1991 on the 60ft trimaran Pierre 1er (which was the tri Steve then brought and renamed Lakota).
Subject to ratification it is the second fastest average speed for a passage record.
Whilst this record is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council, if ratified Steve will hold the top six passage records based on an average speed.
Full details of records are available at the World Speed Sailing Record Council website.