British powerboating duo, Sanderson and Dredge, had to abort their Venice to Monte Carlo record attempt yesterday when their Sunseeker came to an abrupt halt

Sunseeker XS Racing Team’s attempt to set a new, world record for the 1,200 mile Venice to Monte Carlo course came to an abrupt and ignominious end at 19.40 CET this evening, just 18 miles south of Anzio and the third fuelling stop when the boat apparently injested some flotsam into its raw-water cooling intake and cooked one of its 450hp Yanmar turbo-diesels, giving the crew no chance to react.

It was a disappointing end to what had been a very taxing day and a generally difficult attempt and it was not easy to be up-beat about it. “We had been beaten up all day by the sea which went from flat calm to 3 metre waves in a minute and with no obvious warning”, said a subdued Ian Sanderson from the boat whilst making its way slowly to Anzio harbour, “and we had been hugging the coast to find flatter seas to give the boat a real chance to cover some ground when suddenly there was a hot smell, a loud warning buzzer and we knew it was all over.”

The challenge had been dogged by unpredictable weather patterns from the top of the Adriatic and had been particularly difficult overnight, with huge seas off the foot of Italy that had brought the normally buoyant XS2000 off the plane for long periods but the crew’s achievement is considerable none the less. “912 miles covered at an elapsed average of almost exactly 30 knots is no mean feat and while it will give heart to the Team, is unrepresentative of the performance that this boat/engine/crew has already delivered”, said Peter Dredge, “and Italy is still unfinished business for us.”

Sunseeker XS Racing will now prepare for their endurance offshore racing programme which coincidentally, will bring them straight back to those same waters that have just conspired to stop their record breaking charge.