Steve Fossett is preparing PlayStation for a possible Round Britain and Ireland record attempt this weekend

The 125ft maxi-catamaran PlayStation is en-route to the UK, and skipper Steve Fossett (pictured left) has advised his international crew to make their way to Plymouth for an attempt on the Round Britain and Ireland sailing record this weekend.

The team are still evaluating the most advantageous starting area and start time options – from Lizard Point to Dover – between Sunday midday and Monday morning. The plan is to head anti-clockwise.

A strong low-pressure system is centred over the British Isles and is moving slowly from south-west to the north-east. The team are anticipating a southerly breeze from the start – backing east as they round the corner at Dover and head up the North Sea – with a shift to the north and north-west as they make the big turn at the Shetland Isles and head towards Ireland, then back to the English Channel.

The team hopes to beat the current record set by Maiden 2 just six weeks ago which stands at 4 days, 17 hours, 4 minutes, 23 seconds.

Steve Fossett commented earlier today on the nature of the challenge: “When we set this record eight years ago on the 60ft trimaran Lakota, we knew that the next generation of giant multihulls would eventually break it. And our major competitors have all had a go this year – Orange came up just short in August; Hydroptere broke; Geronimo then set a very good time last month, but was unlucky to do it at the same time that Maiden 2 set an even better one at 4 days 17 hours.

“So this is turning into a real classic test for these boats – and we’re motivated to get it back. I like this course – and the challenge it represents. It is a complex test – planning, meteorology and precise sailing all wrapped up together – and we do expect to see some pretty big winds.”

The record for Round Britain and Ireland as defined by the WSSRC allows for a route either clockwise or anti-clockwise, starting from any physically observable point. The route itself (based on minimum distance between waypoints) is 1789.6 nautical miles.