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25 October 2002, 11:48 am
Fossett (USA) Regains Round Britain Record
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©Claire Bailey

World Speed Sailing Record Council
Ramsgate

Steve Fossett and his crew aboard the maxi catamaran Playstation II crossed the Start/Finish line off Ramsgate at 0747.33 GMT this morning to take the Round Britain and Ireland Record by a mere 55 minutes.
Having had an awesome blast up the English Channel, with winds averaging at over 30 knots as predicted, they completed the official 1787 mile course at an average speed of 15.93 knots in 4 days 16 hours 9 mins 36 secs (subject to WSSRC ratification), beating the record set by Maiden II in September this year.

Speaking at the finish Fossett remarked, "This is great - a big success - very hard won. We've worked hard all night. We went out on a MAJOR weather system. Luc Trullemans' forecast and start decision were key. Every one of the boats targeting this record has been unable to sail fast all the way around - ourselves included. But we did pretty well."

One of the toughest facets of this speed record in particular is the number of different weather systems one can experience going round, meaning that there is always the propensity to lose speed when going from one system into another. Playstation II managed to sail 98% of the way round on starboard tack, almost tracing an isobar round the coast, and only seemed to lose when the low pressure sitting over the British Isles finally moved east, becalming them in the Celtic Sea for a short time, before the next Atlantic low moved in their favour.

Fossett has now reclaimed the record he initially broke on Lakota in 1994 with a time of 5 days 21 hour 5 minutes 27 seconds.

Position Data Since 0000 GMT, 25/10/02

Date Time Lat Lon Head Speed TWS TWD TWA
25.10.02 07.38z 51 17.750 N 01 27.670 E 12 15.7 33 202 169
25.10.02 06.38z 51 04.490 N 01 22.220 E 52 18.2 33 203 152
25.10.02 05.38z 50 53.850 N 00 59.690 E 68 18.1 31 213 145
25.10.02 04.38z 50 46.370 N 00 34.770 E 72 18.8 31 218 145
25.10.02 03.38z 50 42.010 N 00 07.960 E 72 20.9 32 225 154
25.10.02 02.38z 50 34.110 N 00 16.890 W 28 20.7 32 229 159
25.10.02 01.38z 50 23.020 N 00 37.050 W 96 23.3 30 248 152
25.10.02 00.38z 50 23.390 N 01 11.590 W 95 22.2 30 248 153

TWS: True Wind Speed; TWD: True Wind Direction; TWA: True Wind Angle

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