Less than an hour past The Needles, PlayStation skipper Steve Fossett knew that to carry on would risk damage both to boat and crew
PlayStation skipper Steve Fossett was less than an hour beyond The Needles when he and his lieutenants decided that it would not be wise to continue their attempt at the Cowes-Dinard record. Gusts of 50 knots and five-metre seas made travel at the high speeds PlayStation can maintain unnecessarily risky so they hardened up and tacked homewards.
Keen as ever to attack a record, Fossett hoped to be able to try again this afternoon but with northerly gales settling in across the country, he is unlikely to set out again today.
“If the wind dies down enough we could go on the next tide (around 1600 today) but we are holding off on that decision,” said Fossett after heading back to Southampton. “Nothing is broken, but it was necessary to abort the attempt. We cannot maintain enough speed due to the rough seas.”
“It all started well,” said PlayStation Watch Captain Ben Wright, “but getting out of the Solent, the wind became stronger than we expected. The rough seas really slowed us down and it became difficult to hold the boat – it could have been dangerous for the crew.”
While waiting for a suitable weather window to attempt the Channel record, Steve Fossett and his PlayStation crew had a crack at the Round the Island Race record. They started just after 1000 today and finished at 12h 36m 24s, setting a new RTI record of 2h 33m 55s for the 52-mile course.
This smashes the previous record, set in June this year by the French 60ft trimaran Dexia Eure et Loir with Europe 1 Newman STAR winner Francis Joyon and British Olypmic multi-medallist Rodney Pattisson onboard.