Fossett's PlayStation crew are level with the Orkney Islands after only 24 hours

Just 24 hours after leaving Ramsgate on an attempt to break the Round Britain and Ireland record, Steve Fossett’s Playstation is already roughly level with the Orkney Islands. Their sprint up the North Sea has been helped by easterlies, although in building seas they have been sailing cautiously, rarely flying a hull.

This report was sent by Steve Fossett just before first light this morning: “Yes, it’s cold. Light rain is almost continuous. After 13 hours we are just under halfway to Muckle Flugga lighthouse in the Shetland Islands. This is the most northern point in the British Isles.

“The North Sea seems to be the crux of this course. We need to position ourselves far enough right of course so that we can sail to Muckle Flugga without tacking as the wind backs around in front of us.This would add sailing distance. Then we have the long stretch down the Outer Hebrides and western Ireland. We expect heavy wind conditions.

“So far there have been few problems. A broken winch was readiy repaired by the crew, as was a batten problem in the mainsail.”

The wind has been easing and backing slightly, so that PlayStation is now almost on the wind. These conditions won’t last long as the forecast for the areas they will be in during the next 24 hours – Fair Isle and Hebrides – is for periods of gale Force 8. The quicker they make it round Muckle Flugga the sooner they will meet the stronger winds, and the longer they are likely to remain in them on the western portion of their voyage.