Steve Fossett's maxicat PlayStation has begun her attempt to break Tracy Edwards' Cowes-Dinard record

Skipper Steve Fossett and the 13 crew of PlayStation are currently blasting towards the French coast in 25-28 knot northwesterlies, veering and gusting Force 8 as the day progresses. These winds should scoot the 125ft Morelli/Melvin designed maxicat along the 138-mile track fast enough to attack the 6h 49m 19s benchmark set by Tracy Edwards and the all-female crew of Royal Sun & Alliance.

PlayStation crossed the line off the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes at 0826.26 GMT and is now encountering shipping and strong currents with her progress further hampered by high seas from the starboard side. Nevertheless, Fossett is feeling game.

“The course of the Channel Record Trophy is very interesting, it’s good for a large multihull. It’s a great opportunity to sail fast and to leave a record that will be hard to beat for our successors. Satisfying weather conditions, the only big question is about the waves: perhaps the seas will be too high, slowing us down.”

Fossett’s crew is stuffed with stars. His long-time navigator Stan Honey is calling the shots and among the crew are Pascal Blouin, from Olivier de Kersauson’s maxitri Geronimo, Germany’s Tornado world champion Roland Gaebler and Helena Darvelid, on the crew of Edwards’ maxicat Royal & Sun Alliance when the existing record was set.