PlayStation has broken the East - West TransAtlantic sailing record by over a day
Steve Fossett and his 12-man crew aboard the maxi-catamaran PlayStation have (pending ratification) broken the East – West TransAtlantic sailing record by over a day. They arrived at the island of San Salvador, the Bahamas this morning after their 229 hr 30 min crossing from Cadiz, via the Canaries.
Sailing with extraordinary sustained speed (boat speed rarely dropped under 20 kts) in just a little over nine and a half days, Fossett and crew, following the same route as Columbus in 1492, averaged 16.93 kts over the official 3,884 nautical mile record course. The total distance sailed – with weather detour – was 4,704 nm, an across-the-water-average of 20.5 kts.
The previous East – West TransAt record of 10 days 14 hours 53 mins 44 secs was set by co-skippers Bruno Peyron (FR) and Grant Dalton (NZ) on the 110ft cat Club Med in June, 2000. This new record means that Fossett and PlayStation have completed a set of Atlantic records. (In October 2001 they set a new West-East Atlantic record, streaking from New York to the UK in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes.)
Fossett commented: “This was just a great effort by an exceptionally strong team of sailors. It was technically very challenging – we had to sail at maximum efficiency downwind virtually the entire distance.
“Our weather router Pierre Lasnier had us going far to the south of Club Med’s course to avoid the Atlantic high – it was a ‘very specific route’ in winter – to keep in strong wind throughout the week. It certainly paid off, even if we did sail over 800 more miles across the water than the direct record course.
“We had one ‘all hands on deck’ drama on Saturday afternoon when the mainsheet parted company – with a bang. Fortunately we were able to make a fast repair and only lost 30 minutes.
“Right now I’m looking forward to a cold Michelob ULTRA and a nice hot shower.”
Steve Fossett (USA) Skipper/Watch Captain
Dave Scully (USA) Watch Captain
Pete Melvin (USA) Watch Captain
Brian Thompson (GB) Navigator
Peter Hogg (NZ) Crew
Mark Featherstone (GB) Crew
Dave Calvert (USA) Crew
Mikaela Von Koskull (Fin) Crew
Will Howden (GB) Crew
Tim Zimmermann (USA) Crew
Nick Legatt (ZA) Crew
Simon Fisher (GB) Crew
Dave Thomson (GB) Crew
(In addition to Steve Fossett – Dave Scully, Dave Calvert and Peter Hogg all were part of the October 2001 W-E TransAt record crew)