Steve Fossett and his 12 crew set off on their Jules Verne attempt at 5am GMT on 7 February. Meanwhile Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo and Bruno Peyron's Orange II are also ready to go

At 05 10 35 this morning, 7 February, Steve Fossett’s Cheyenne, previously Playstation, crossed the start line off Ushant in an attempt on the Jules Verne round the world record, 64 days, 8 hours 37 minutes and 24 seconds currently held by Bruno Peyron’s Orange. After a tough passage from Plymouth with headwinds up to 59 knots Fossett and his 12-man crew will have to re-cross the line before 13 46 49 on 11 April to break the record.

Peyron, meanwhile, has just re-launched his new 120ft Orange II, bigger and much more powerful than the record holder after minor modifications and is preparing for his own departure and record attempt, which could be as soon as 15 February. “We would have liked to leave at the same time, it would have been a nice battle. They chose not to wait for us, in order to take advantage of this weather window. The choice was theirs, the future will tell us if they were right or not” commented Peyron.

Meanwhile Olivier de Kersauson is also at the ready, fully provisioned with the giant trimaran Geronimo waiting in Brest for a suitable weather window.

The next few weeks could be fascinating to watch as this three way challenge unfolds. Read on board reports from David Scully on board Cheyenne on