Popping Champagne corks echoed across Plymouth Harbour as Cheyenne ghosted into Mountbatten Marine this evening. Yachtingworld.com reports from the dockside
It was an historic and emotional occasion tonight as Steve Fossett’s 125ft maxi catamaran appeared in silhouette like a ghost on the horizon under the bright, moonlit sky into Plymouth Harbour.
Fossett and his 11-man crew had finally arrived home after 58 days 9 hours 32 mins 45 secs at sea and were greeted by 100s of well wishers who’d braved the biting cold westerly breeze to witness the completion of one of the world’s greatest sailing achievements.
Weathered and tired they may have been but nothing was going to stop Fossett’s determined crew make the most of their heroes welcome. Tears and laughter spread like a virus as the crew stepped ashore to the shower of Champagne. All the hard work, pain and emotion encountered over the last eight weeks had finally paid off and they were there to enjoy the party they’d been dreaming of for weeks.
Talking to yachtingworld.com about this historic occasion Fossett said: “Crossing the line today was a tremendous experience and very emotional because we’d worked so hard and the crew, even though many of them had sailed round the world before, were also extremely excited. This was a very well executed round the world sailing programme and every member of the crew performed at the top level and made a major contribution. I think it’s partly the satisfaction of each crew member doing a good job that made us so happy about this.”
As the crew, on a natural adrenalin high, continued to party into the night on the shore side at Mountbatten Marina it was hard to imagine that just 24 hours ago they were sitting in a no wind zone just 300 miles from the finish. A lot happened since then. Chatting to Mike Beasley it seems that it wasn’t just lack of wind that was cause of concern. Commenting as he stepped ashore Beasley said: “The worst moment believe it or not was about half an hour from the finish today. I can’t believe we went half way round the world and the most anxious moment was just coming up to the finish. The sea state with wind against tide was horrendous and it was pretty breezy, we had to put a reef in. The best moment was about 30 seconds after that when we crossed the line!”
Tonight, when the party’s over, the entire crew will head for a local hotel to enjoy their first proper night’s sleep since the start of the challenge on 7 February. Meanwhile Fossett is already starting to lay down plans for his next challenge – flying his glider into the stratosphere. “Then,” said Fossett, “I think we’ll go for the 24-hour world speed record an see how we get on with that.”
Congratulations to team Cheyenne
Steve Fossett (skipper) USA
Adrienne Cahalan (navigator) AUS
David Scully (watch captain) USA
Brian Thompson (watch captain) GB
Jacques Vincent (watch captain) FRA
Guillermo Altadill ESP
Mike Beasley NZL
Fraser Brown NZL
Mark Featherstone GB
Damian Foxall IRE
Nick Leggatt ZA
Justin Slattery IRE
Paul Van Dyke USA