New record for Fastnet Course
Published on April 7th, 2021
MOD70 Trimaran PowerPlay, led by Peter Cunningham and skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, completed the original Fastnet Course of 595 nautical miles in a new world record of 25hrs 04mins 18secs. With the Fastnet Race now finishing in France, the historic English course starts from Cowes before passing around the Fastnet Lighthouse and finishing at the Plymouth Breakwater.
PowerPlay’s run is over two hours quicker than the record set by the MOD70 Phaedo3 in 2015 (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 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 April 5, 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 April 6, 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 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.