Steve Fossett’s 125ft Transatlantic record breaker PlayStation is preparing for a crack at the Channel record

After destroying Serge Madec’s west-east Transatlantic record recently, Steve Fossett and the 14 crew of PlayStation are understandably keen to keep their momentum going. The next benchmark for PlayStation is the Cowes – Dinard Channel record.

The record for the 138-mile course stands at 6h 49m 19s, set in October 1997 at an average speed of 20.23 knots by Tracy Edwards’ Royal & Sun Alliance. Skipper Steve Fossett and PlayStation navigator Stan Honey are scheduled to cross the Squadron start line off Cowes between 0300 and 0600 GMT tomorrow, leaving The Needles to port and, with 40-knot northwesterlies forecast, she could arrive in Dinard as little as five hours later.

PlayStation’s attempt will be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) as a benchmark for the course and will mark the inauguration of the Channel Record Trophy. This will be an annual event event aimed at attracting the fastest boats over 60ft in the world.

There are four winners’ trophies, one for the each of the participatory categories. Competitors are allowed as many attempts as they want to cross the Channel – the busiest shipping lane in the world ripped by the strongest tides in Europe – and a permanently-manned Race HQ will coordinate the attempts.