RECORD ATTEMPTS

PlayStation Blazing Across the Atlantic; Wrong-Way Van Den Heede On Hold

PlayStation Blazing Across the Atlantic

Steve Fossett and his 10-man crew on the 125-foot catamaran PlayStation have broken the outright 24-hour sailing record with a 687-mile run on Saturday. If conditions remain favorable, PlayStation will own the transatlantic sailing record, too. It’s been 11 years since Serge Madec’s catamaran Jet Services V set the bar at 6d:13h:3m:32s, and few have come close.

At the 11:00 GMT position report, 64 hours into the attempt, Fossett reported that his team was still averaging 25 knots and that they were well ahead of schedule. This morning they were more than 400 miles ahead Madec’s pace, and only 1,180 remained to the finish line at The Lizard in England.

"We’re finally out of the Labrador Current, so the boat has warmed back up and the fog has lifted," wrote PlayStation navigator Stan Honey. "So far we are staying ahead of our gale/cold front. It is intensifying, but it has slowed down a bit. Often when boats adopt the weather strategy that we are using, trying to cross the Atlantic preceding a cold front, the front goes stationary just before the English Channel, and a potentially good passage goes to rot right at the end in light air."

"This could of course still happen to us, but the pattern looks pretty good, i.e. just progressive enough, so that we might carry our breeze to the English Channel."

Wrong-Way Van Den Heede On Hold

Ocean racer Jean Luc Van Den Heede, of France, has delayed the start of his solo, non-stop westward circumnavigation record attempt until Tuesday morning in hopes that the weather conditions will be more favorable. Van Den Heede is hoping to break the 151-day record set by countryman Philippe Monnet. Van Den Heede, 56, had a brand new 84-foot aluminum boat, named Adrien-Pechiney, built for the challenge. His last attempt ended when his boat Algimouss experienced severe delamination problems soon after rounding Cape Horn.