Branson to Tackle Transatlantic Record
Taking one’s kids on ocean races is becoming quite popular these days. Not to be outdone by the likes of Paul Cayard — who took his two kids on this year’s Pacific Cup — Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson will be taking his two 20-something kids, Holly and Sam, on a Transatlantic record attempt pending a suitable weather window. His choice of ride is Alex Jackson’s Juan K-designed 98-ft Speedboat, renamed Virgin Money for this attempt and staffed with a large contingent from the ostensible British America’s Cup challenger Team Origin.
Although all the typical PR that’s been going around says that Branson will be vying for the monohull record from New York’s Ambrose Light to The Lizard, Cornwall, UK, that’s not exactly true. Because Virgin Money has powered winches, any record the boat sets will be in the ‘Powered Sailing Systems Records’ category as sanctioned by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
So instead of competing against Robert Miller’s 140-ft Mari-Cha IV, which set the outright monohull record of 6 days, 17 hours and 31 minutes in October of 2003, Virgin Money will be racing for the record set by Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard — which boat captain Chris Sherlock and a relatively small crew sailed to a 7-day, 19-hour and 20-minute crossing in May of this year while in the midst of delivering ICAP Leopard back to Europe from the Caribbean.
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