Mike SANDERSON, triple Olympic gold medallist Ben AINSLIE and British entrepreneur Richard BRANSON are on standby in New York to begin an attempt at breaking the Transatlantic record for a monohull aboard the 100ft supermaxi yacht Virgin Money (formerly Speedboat).
With a potential weather window approaching, the crew hopes to set sail early tomorrow morning with TEAMORIGIN's Team Director Mike SANDERSON (NZL) as skipper. SANDERSON - who holds the current transatlantic record for a monohull of 6 days, 27 hours and 52 minutes - will lead the crew, which includes Sir Richard BRANSON's children Holly and Sam.
With a potential start from North Cove Marina, New York, tomorrow at dawn, Virgin Money's record attempt will be Ben AINSLIE
's (GBR) first transatlantic voyage. AINSLIE, TEAMORIGIN's America's Cup helmsman, will be on the wheel as the boat passes Ambrose Light, and the clock starts. The course will take them through treacherous winter conditions in the North Atlantic before finishing at Lizard Point, off the coast of Plymouth. SANDERSON has held the transatlantic record since 2003, when he broke the previous record aboard Mari Cha IV.
The Virgin Money team have been on standby since the record attempt was announced back in September. At that time SANDERSON, 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
and winning skipper of the 2005-06 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, commented, "I certainly believe we have the hardware in place to have a successful attempt at breaking this record. Having been there myself in 1998 and 2003 when Mari Cha broke the transatlantic record, this feels like the right team and the right boat to do it again."
Further details will follow once it has been confirmed that Virgin Money will begin her attempt tomorrow.