STEVE FOSSETT - APRIL 2004
Steve Fossett, then 59-year-old American millionaire and his crew of 12, sailed into the record books at around 1600 BST on Monday 5th April. The 125-foot catamaran Cheyenne shaved almost six days off the existing record after crossing the official start and finish line at Le Stiff lighthouse on Ouessant.
21,760-mile journey took them around the Cape of Good Hope, Cape
Leeuwin and Cape Horn during almost 59 days at sea. The
previous record of 64 days, eight hours, was set by Frenchman
Bruno Peyron in 2002.
Two weeks after returning from his successful Round The World Sailing world record at the helm of his 125' maxi-catamaran Cheyenne, American skipper Steve FOSSETT announced that he has decided to pull back from front line international speed sailing.
After 11 years of spectacular record success (see below) he has
decided to focus on key 2004-2005 projects in aviation
(altitude, speed and distance gliding plus the round the
world solo airplane) as well as other new (as yet
undisclosed) sporting projects on land and in the air.
Cheyenne may be put up for sale.
we started out I thought the chance was 50-50 that we would get
around. Then I wondered that the boat might not be fast
enough." He added: "We did a lot of preparation.
We had a very strong boat and I selected an absolutely top rate
Cheyenne - formerly 'Play Station'
Fossett asked naval architects, Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin, of California, to design "the best boat for racing fully crewed, non-stop, around the world, as fast as possible". Using a catamaran 'Velocity Prediction Program' developed by Gino Morrelli and Clay Oliver during the 1988 America's Cup Campaign, they designed a 32 metre boat, which was built by Cookson Boats of New Zealand.
Prior to The Race 2000, PlayStation hulls were lengthened to 38.1mtrs, by Green Marine, in Southampton, who extended both the bows and transoms. This was done to improve handling characteristics and overcome a tendency towards pitch poling, due to the fact that the catamaran was basically overpowered. Green Marine also fitted new trampolines and lighter and stronger Cuben Fibre sails.
PlayStation was the only starter in The Race 2000 that failed to finish. Less than 24 hours into the event, the mainsail tore. PlayStation had to divert to Gibraltar for a rendezvous with shore crew who were waiting with the old Main, having trucked it from Barcelona overnight. Then a week later the port dagger-board broke. Fossett retired the yacht, in consideration of these difficulties, Nick Maloney's badly broken ankle, and further sail problems. PlayStation then went to Florida and later up to the NE coast to prepare for the successful (Oct 2001) TransAt record run.
Play Station - cockpit
Round the World 58d 9h 32m 45s Feb-April 2004
TransAtlantic 4d 17h 28m 6s(25.78 kts) 01/10/2001
Round Britain & Ireland 4d 16h 9m 36s 01/10/2002
TransAt-Discovery Route 9d 13h 30m 18s 01/02/2003
TransMed (Marseilles-Carthage) 18h 46m 48s 01/05/2002
Fastnet Course 35h 17m 14s 01/03/2002
Newport-Bermuda 1d 14h 35m 53s 01/01/2000
Isle of Wight 2h 33m 55s 01/11/2001
Round Ireland 44h 42m 20s 01/09/1993
Hawaii-Japan 13d 20h 9m July-Aug 1995
Pacific Ocean East to West 16d 17h 21m 01/08/1995
Miami-New York 2d 5h 54m 42s 01/05/2001
Plymouth-LaRochelle 16h 41m 40s 01/04/2002
A jubilant Cheyenne crew
official WSSRC course calls for an eastbound passge from
Ouessant, leaving the 3 great capes -
Peggy and Steve Fossett
FOR THE RECORD
balloonist, yachtsman and endurance sportsman, Steve Fossett
(USA - b. 1944) has made aviation records (across the broadest
possible range of flying machines) and speed sailing his
specialties in becoming one of the world's best known modern
skipper of the 60' trimaran 'Lakota' and the 125' catamaran
'PlayStation' (now 'Cheyenne'), since 1993 Steve has set 21
official world records (14 standing) and 9 distance race records
(8 standing). He has twice set the prestigious 24 Hour Record of
Sailing, and was named 2001 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, among
many honors. In October 2001 on 'PlayStation', Steve and crew
set a startling TransAtlantic record of 4 days 17 hours -
shattering the previous record by 43 hours 35 minutes - an
increase in average speed of more than 7 knots.
STEVE'S HISTORY IN BRIEF :
On February 21, 1995 Fossett landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon. In 2002 he was credited with being the first person to fly around the world alone, nonstop, in a balloon. He launched from Northam, Western Australia on June 19, 2002 and returned to Australia on July 2, 2002.
Steve Fossett is also one of the world's most accomplished sailors. He holds 15 World Record passages in sailing. In 2004 he, as skipper, set the world record for fastest circumnavigation of the world in his sailboat Cheyenne with a crew of 13.
Early in 2005 Fossett will pilot the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, to fly solo, non-stop around the world to set another raft of world records.
Among his other adventures, Fossett has swum the English Channel and driven the Le Mans 24 hours, amongst a host of other feats. He holds the world record for the number of world records held, with 62 world records.
Gold Air Medal, Federation Aeronautique Internationale, 2002
Explorers Medal, The Explorers Club, 2003
Medaille de l'Aeronautique, France, March 2003
Grand Medaille de l'Aero Club de France, March 2003
Gold Medal, The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, April 2003
Prix De La Vaulx, Fédération Aéronautique Intérnationale, 1995, 1997,1998 and 2002.
Prix de l'Aventure Sportive, Academie des Sports, France, March 2002
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, U.S. Sailing Association, 2001
Balloon and Airship Hall of Fame, FAI-CIA, Inducted June 1997
Silver Buffalo, Boy Scouts of America, May 1999
Distinguished Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America, May 1998
Harmon Trophy, National Aeronautic Association, October 1998
Distinction in Exploration, National Geographic Society, November 1998
Victor Award (Special), Victor Sports Awards, July 1995 and June 1997
Diplome de Montgolfier, Fédération Aéronautique Intérnationale, March 1996
Hall of Fame, Aviation Week ans Space Technology, Laureate for Operations, March 2003
Aero Club de France
National Yacht Club of Ireland
Academie Nationale de l'Air et de l'Elspace
Yacht Club de France (2001-02)
The Adventurers Club
Newport Harbor Yacht Club
Royal Temple Yacht Club
Canterbury (NZ) Gliding Club
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