The Sunseeker XS Racing team is on countdown to set off early next week on their 1440 mile round Britain record bid

The Sunseeker XS Racing team, the leading team in European and World Endurance Racing has confirmed QinetiQ as headline sponsor for the QinetiQ Round Great Britain Challenge 2002. The Powered Circumnavigation of Great Britain Record Attempt is now on countdown to set off from either Lymington or Poole at 0600 early next week, weather permitting – returning 1440 miles later to enter the record books.

The team has been on standby for the attempt since mid-June, waiting for a suitable weather window to aid their bid. The record currently stands at 37hrs 50 mins set by Mike Deacon on Hot Lemon 4 in August 2002. Peter Dredge and Ian Sanderson will be piloting a tailor made XSR 2000 boat whose state of the art lightweight hull was developed in conjunction with QinetiQ, official technology partner of the XS Racing team. The XSR 2000 is manufactured at the Sunseeker International yard in Poole, Dorset and rigged at the XSR unit in Ringwood. In it’s first year of competition, with professional co-pilots Ian Sanderson and Peter Dredge at the helm, the Sunseeker XSR 2000 smashed 10 world endurance and speed records and racked up numerous international race wins.

Ian Sanderson, Sunseeker XS Racing MD and record attempt co-pilot comments: “We are looking forward to making the attempt – British summer permitting. Preparations have been going well – during the European and World Championships we maintained a rigorous training regime designed to target areas of stress. The XSR team spend 3 hours 4-5 days a week in the gym to condition themselves for the physical challenges of power boating at this level.

By taking part in the QinetiQ Round Great Britain Challenge 2002 we hope to raise the profile of competitive endurance raising in the UK, and ensure that Britain remains established at the forefront of the international marine industry.”

During this gruelling challenge there will be three refuelling stops of approximately 45 minutes. These will take place at Bangor, Peterhead and Ramsgate and depending on sea conditions this will take place anything between every five to ten hours. The pilots will keep themselves going with a specially prepared high carbohydrate drink on board and hi-carb meals during re-fuelling stops.

The £300,000 powerboat is capable of speeds of up to 70 knots (80 mph); the XSR 2000 was developed in conjunction with QinetiQ’s leading marine technology team to create the fastest, lightest and most competitive craft to attempt the record to date.