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Fossett Sets Trans-Atlantic Record

12 October 2001

Chicago sailor Steve Fossett sliced nearly two days off a trans-Atlantic sailing record when he arrived Wednesday off the British coast. Fossett and the crew of his carbon-fiber catamaran Playstation set out from New York on Friday and crossed the finish line at Cornwall's Lizard peninsula. He was timed in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes, 6 seconds.

The record, subject to ratification, beat the previous West-to-East trans-Atlantic sailing record by nearly 44 hours. That mark was set 11 years ago by Serge Madec. ``This is enormously satisfying,'' Fossett said. ``We put it all together, an extremely fast boat ... ideal weather and a crew who sailed brilliantly.''

Fossett's boat is a 125-foot catamaran with a hull made mostly of ultra-light carbon fiber. The boat also set a new 24-hour distance record of 687.17 nautical miles (1,272.64 kms). Fossett, a 57-year-old millionaire businessman, also holds records for the longest solo balloon flight -- both in time and distance -- plus 10 world sailing records and eight yacht race records.