Forecasts of gale Force 9 forced the postponement of this weekend's kiteboat round the island record attempt

Forecasts of gale Force 9 forced the postponement of this weekend’s kiteboat round the island record attempt see previous news story here . Chris Burk and Jeremy Waitt were in final preparations on Friday when they decided to cancel their attempt. Waitt said “It simply isn’t worth putting people at risk. It is a great disappointment as sea trials with the vessel have been going really well. We have had the boat out in Force 6 gusting 7 (22kts) and it copes well. That said the gale force winds will whip up a nasty swell which could overturn our small vessel.”

The pair have not given up on the challenge and will be retrying to sail round the island on the 5 or 6 April. Burk (helmsman) added, “It has to been seen as a blessing in disguise as it will give us more time to raise money and awareness for our chosen charities. It will also give us time to familiarise ourselves with the vessel in a number of sea trials. Our general speed and handling of the boat is improving all the time and with continued practice we have a chance to complete the trip faster and with more comfort.”

Waitt added: “To complete the challenge in these conditions we would need a bigger boat. I would say that scaling the vessel up to 30ft would be relatively easy, even with the equipment (kites) we have now. Gaastra kites have come up trumps with the double leading edge bladder technology. It makes the kites penetrate into the wind giving incredible upwind performance. Downwind the boat is simply fantastic and very addictive reaching incredible speeds. Having practiced man overboard and rescue techniques with the craft, we are intending to continue on our quest to cross the Atlantic at some stage over the next few years.”