Steve Fossett has announced that he has decided to pull back from front line international speed sailing and put Cheyenne up for sale

Two weeks after returning from his successful Round The World Sailing world record at the helm of his 125ft maxi-catamaran Cheyenne, American skipper Steve Fossett announced today that he has decided to pull back from front line international speed sailing – after 11 years of spectacular record success – in order to focus on key 2004-2005 projects in aviation (altitude, speed and distance gliding plus the round the world solo airplane) as well as other new (as yet undisclosed) sporting projects on land and in the air. Cheyenne will be put up for sale.

Commenting on his decision Fossett said: “The round the world record has fulfilled my highest ambition in sailing and this just seems like the right time to stop.'”

His focused and committed approach has made him the greatest record-setter in the history of speed sailing with over two-dozen total world and race records set. And 13 of the 22 current records listed as ‘outright’ in the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) record book are held by Fossett – including the amazing new RTW at 58 days 9 hours on the 125ft maxi-cat Cheyenne – and the 2001 New York – UK TransAtlantic rocket ride of 4 days 17 hours (aboard the same boat, then known as PlayStation).

Fossett continued: “It has been an exciting – and very fulfilling – 11 years. In the past we’ve defended our records by re-taking four of them when broken: the 24 Hours (twice), Round Britain & Ireland, and Isle of Wight – but I don’t want to make a program of that. My mind is on aviation projects right now. I should sell Cheyenne to someone who wants to do the Oryx Cup RTW Race – or maybe even try to break some of our records.”

Steve Fossett sailing record facts

Current holder of 13 official Outright World Records plus 2 Singlehanded Records

Current holder of nine major distance race records

Records were set on 3 boats

PlayStation 1998-2000 105ft ; PlayStation / Cheyenne 2001-2004 125ft catamaran

Lakota 60ft trimaran

Stars & Stripes 60ft catamaran

Only 7 of his records have ever been broken

By comparison

Bruno Peyron holds two outright records

Transpac Race Course

Pacific Ocean

Brian Thompson, Adrienne Cahalan and Helena Darvelid jointly hold three outright records:

24 Hour


Cowes-St Malo

No one else holds more than one ‘outright’ world record

Steve Fossett’s Sailing Records

13 Outright World Records

Round the World – 58d 9h 32m 45s Feb-April 2004

TransAtlantic – 4d 17h 28m 6s(25.78 kts) Oct 2001

Round Britain & Ireland – 4d 16h 9m 36s Oct 2002

TransAt-Discovery Route – 9d 13h 30m 18s Feb 2003

TransMed (Marseilles-Carthage) -18h 46m 48s May 2002

Fastnet Course – 35h 17m 14s Mar 2002

Newport-Bermuda – 1d 14h 35m 53s Jan 2000

Isle of Wight – 2h 33m 55s Nov 2001

Round Ireland – 44h 42m 20s Sep 1993

Hawaii-Japan – 13d 20h 9m July-Aug 1995

Pacific Ocean East to West – 16d 17h 21m Aug 1995

Miami-New York – 2d 5h 54m 42s May 2001

Plymouth-LaRochelle – 16h 41m 40s Apr 2002

Two Singlehanded World Records

Pacific Ocean (Yokohama-SF)-World – 20d 9h 52m Aug 1996

Newport-Bermuda-World – 40h 51m 54s Jun 1999

Nine Race Records

Newport-Ensenada — 6h 46m 40s 18.45 kts) Apr 1998

Chicago-Mackinac – 18h 50m 32s Jul 1998

Swiftsure – 14h 35m 29s May 1997

Long Beach-Cabo San Lucas – 3d 2h 59m Nov 1995

Pineapple Cup (Ft Lauderdale-Montego Bay) – 2s 20h 8m 5s Feb 1999

San Diego-Puerto Vallarta – 62h 20m 11s Feb 1998

Round St. Martin (Heineken) – 2h 4m 23s Mar 2003

Windjammers (SF-Santa Cruz) – 4h 41m 2s Aug 1997

Singlehanded Race Record

California-Hawaii (Singlehanded Transpac) – Race – 7d 22h 38m July 1998

Superceded World Records

24 Hour Record – 687.17 nm (28.63 kts) Oct 2001

24 Hour Record – 580.23 nm (24.18 kts) Mar 1999

Pacific Ocean Record (Crewed) – 16d 17h 21m 19s Aug 1995

Transpac – 6d 16h 7m 16s July 1995

Round Britain & Ireland – 5d 21h 5m 27s Oct 1994

Cowes-St Malo – 6h 21m 54s Dec 2001

Isle of Wight – 3h 35m 38s Sep 1994