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24 February 2003, 03:08 pm
Playstation Breaks it by a Day
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Steve Fossett

WSSRC - Columbus Route Record
San Salvador

Skipper Steve Fossett (USA) and his crew of 12 aboard the maxi-catamaran PlayStation achieved more sailing history this morning as they broke the East - West TransAtlantic sailing record by over a day.
They arrived at the island of San Salvador, the Bahamas following their 229-1/2 hour crossing from Cadiz, via the Canaries.

Sailing with extraordinary sustained speed (boat speed rarely dropped under 20 kts) in just a little over 9-1/2 days, Fossett and crew, following the same route as Columbus in 1492, averaged 16.93 kts over the official 3884 nautical mile record course".

("new world record - pending final ratification by the WSSRC - World Sailing Speed Record Council)

The 125' maxi-catamaran and her international crew have broken the previous East - West TransAt mark (10 days 14 hours 53 mins 44 secs), set by co-skippers Bruno Peyron (FR) and Grant Dalton (NZ) on the 110' cat Club Med in June, 2000, thus completing a matched set of Atlantic records for Fossett and PlayStation. (In October 2001 they set a new West-East Atlantic record, streaking from New York to the UK in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes.)

Steve Fossett - aboard both PlayStation and the 60' trimaran Lakota now holds 10 of the 13 fastest outright ocean passage records recognized by the WSSRC.

"This was just a great effort by an exceptionally strong team of sailors.

It was technically very challenging - we had to sail at maximum efficiency down-wind virtually the entire distance.

Our weather router Pierre Lasnier had us going far to the south of Club Med's course to avoid the Atlantic high- it was a 'very specific route' in winter - to keep in strong wind throughout the week. It certainly paid off, even if we did sail over 800 more miles across the water than the direct record course.

We had one 'all hands on deck' drama on Saturday afternoon when the mainsheet parted company - with a bang. Fortunately we were able to make a fast repair and only lost 30 minutes.

Right now I'm looking forward to a cold Michelob ULTRA and a nice hot shower."


Crew:

Steve Fossett (USA) Skipper/Watch Captain
Dave Scully (USA) Watch Captain
Pete Melvin (USA) Watch Captain
Brian Thompson (GBR) Navigator
Peter Hogg (NZL) Crew
Mark Featherstone (GBR) Crew
Dave Calvert (USA) Crew
Mikaela Von Koskull (FIN) Crew
Will Howden (GBR) Crew
Tim Zimmermann (USA) Crew
Nick Legatt (RSA) Crew
Simon Fisher (GBR) Crew
Dave Thomson (GBR) Crew

Fossett Challenges/ISAF News Editor
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