Dalton must leave tommorrow, but Fossett to hang on for better weather

Grant Dalton has announced that his maxi-catamaran Club Med will leave tommorrow on the west-east transatlantic record route from New York bound for The Lizard. However the weather conditions expected during this crossing will not be ideal for breaking this tough record, so Dalton says that he and Club Med‘s crew will use this return passage to Europe to continue their training and technical optimisation programme.

Steve Fossett on the other hand has said that he plans to wait until the weather does look more favourable, so the first race between Club Med and Steve Fossett’s PlayStation, the first two giant multihulls launched for The Race, will not happen just yet.

A spokesman for Fossett’s campaign told Yachting World: “We are not going to go because it’s not record breaking weather. But we’re keeping our powder dry. We’re in New York ready. Steve and the crew are only a couple of hours away if we need to leave at short notice.” PlayStation is at present on ‘Code Red’, meaning that the weather is not looking favourable for a departure in the next 4-5 days.

Meanwhile Club Med and her crew were working up again not far from the Statue of Liberty. “Beating the record is not our objective” declared Grant Dalton of their crossing. None of the surplus weight on board has been removed and the suit of sails currently being used is not the best for record breaking. “We can’t wait any longer because we must be on the other side of the Atlantic by the end of July”, he continued. “On this crossing I want to be able to make decisions on course and sails combinations that are not dictated by the need to beat another boat”, continued Dalton..

The final two crew members for the crossing have been announced as Australian Tornado champion Mitch Booth and Japanese America’s Cup sailor Toru Kikuchi who will be filling the spaces of Hervé Jan and Fred Le Peutrec, who are bot sailing in the Quebec-St Malo race. The complete crew of 14 will consist of co-skippers Grant Dalton and Bruno Peyron and Club Med CEO Philippe Bourguignon, plus Mike Quilter (NZL), Ed Danby (NZL), Neal MacDonald (GBR), Bobby Campbell (USA), Jason Carrington (GBR), Jacques Caraës (FRA), Nicolas Pichelin (FRA), Guillermo Altadill (ESP), Jan Dekker (RSA), Mitch Booth (AUS) and Toru Kikuchi (JPN).