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MOD 70 PowerPlay sets new world record* for the original Fastnet Course

by PowerPlay Racing 7 Apr 13:06 BST
MOD70 PowerPlay racing team skippered by Peter Cunningham and Ned Collier, shown here as they started their Fastnet Course world record attempt © Lloyd Images

MOD70 Trimaran PowerPlay, led by Peter Cunningham and skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, has completed the original Fastnet Course of 595 nautical miles in a new world record of 25hrs 04mins 18secs.

*Subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

"It was kind of ambitious, but the conditions were right, and the team was ready to go," commented Peter Cunningham. "The PowerPlay crew was fantastic. Miles (Seddon) did a brilliant job navigating, we had two wonderful drivers in Ned Collier Wakefield, who set up the boat and runs the programme, and the fastest sailor on Earth, Paul Larsen, who drove in some incredibly bad conditions."

Shortly after midday on Monday 05 April, in a bitterly cold strong northerly wind. PowerPlay started their Fastnet record attempt on the Squadron Line at Cowes. PowerPlay made short work of racing to Lands' End and powered across the Celtic Sea at speeds in excess of 30 knots. PowerPlay rounded the famous Fastnet Lighthouse and raced through the night. On Tuesday 06 April, at 13:42 and 19 seconds BST, PowerPlay reached the Plymouth Breakwater, where the team celebrated their amazing run of 25 hours, 4 minutes and 18 seconds.

"We didn't leave much out there, we were pushing really hard and everything aligned," commented PowerPlay Skipper Ned Collier Wakefield. "I am not going to lie, it was pretty full on, especially in April with an arctic northerly with snow around. With the apparent wind we saw 50 knots over the deck, and we hit a top speed of just under 40 knots. The lads did a brilliant job, changing sails about every half an hour - It was rough, physical and very cold. As a crew we have done cumulatively over 50 Fastnet Races, we love the course and to do it faster than it has been done before is really cool."

PowerPlay Crew for Fastnet Course Record: Peter Cunningham, Ned Collier Wakefield, Tom Dawson, John Hamilton, Paul Larsen, Jack Trigger, Miles Seddon, Martin Watts.

PowerPlay's run is over two hours quicker than the record set by Phaedo3 in 2015. The first Fastnet Race was in 1925 and won by Jolie Brise which took over six days to finish the course.

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