Steve Fossett’s 125ft maxicat PlayStation and her crew are both being made ready in New York for an attempt on the New York-Lizard record, to start this weekend


After the disappointment of watching his balloon being shredded in the Australian outback, Fossett has another project on which to focus. The American serial adventurer been summoned to New York by weather router Bob Rice for an attempt on the 11-year-old Ambrose Light-Lizard record held by Serge Madec and the crew of Jet Services V.

Madec’s record was hard won (Jet Services V spent six weeks in repairs on arrival in Brest) and becomes still more impressive with every failed attempt to break it.

“Of course I’m impressed about how difficult it is to beat this record – there have been 21 attempts on it. It has frustrated us three times. But we have learned a lot and this time, with a little good fortune and good winds, we have an excellent chance to break it.”

Fossett’s target is 6d 13h 3m 32s and Rice still believes that Saturday 7 July is the day to start. Among those onboard will be the two co-designers, Gino Morelli and Pete Melvin, and American multihull supremo Randy Smyth. Sean Biddulph’s name on the crew list ensures a British presence onboard.