Team Sunseeker XS Racing intend to leave Lymington early on Friday 20 September in a new attempt at the round-Britain record for powered vessels.

Endurance powerboat racing team Sunseeker XS Racing will attempt to retain the powered vessel Round Britain record later this week. Pilot Peter Dredge and throttleman Ian Sanderson have disclosed their plan to launch the attempt on Friday 20 September at 04:00 hours from Lymington Yacht Haven. The date was chosen purely because this day presents the most favourable weather window over the summer, when the team has not been racing in the UIM Endurance Championships. The team has been on stand-by since mid-June to take on the record once again, having set the overall and class record at 39 hours and 50 minutes this time last year. Two weeks later, the prestigious record fell to Fabio Buzzi, Hannes Bohinc and Dag Pike in the awesome 6,000hp Record! But Team SXS Racing held on to the 30-50ft (9.15-15.25m) class record until 6 August this year, when intrepid amateur Mike Deacon and his team in the brand new Scorpion 10m RIB Hot Lemon IV shaved two hours off the record, completing the course in 37 hours 51 minutes.

In the true spirit of powerboat racing camaraderie, Peter Dredge was at the quayside champagne in hand, to welcome the Hot Lemon crew back and congratulate them on their achievement. But the RIB’s performance galvanised Team SXS Racing’s resolve to win the class record back and attempt the overall round-Britain record. This is no easy task. The record stands at 30 hours 51 minutes and 40 seconds. It was made by Buzzi’s Record!, an 79ft (24m), 6,000hp, custom-built powerhouse using 4 x 1500hp MTU engines coupled to ZF 2-speed gearboxes and Trimax surface drives. The Sunseeker XS2000 used by Dredge and Sanderson is a modified, but essentially off-the-shelf 39ft (12m) XS2000, powered by twin 450hp Yanmar diesels and hence gives away 5,100hp to Record! In addition, Record! were blessed with near perfect weather throughout the course duration.

Team SXS Racing will need similarly perfect conditions, bags of concentration, a truckload of flat-out grunt and more than a little luck, just to have a chance of beating this phenomenal time. Co-pilot Ian Sanderson says “We’ve been waiting for nearly two weeks for the precise weather conditions required for this record attempt. The ideal conditions are unlikely to arise any later in the year, so we have to go this Friday if we are to have any chance at smashing the current world record. It looks set to be a rough ride in places. The most important thing is to get round the top of Scotland in daylight, as opposed to last year when adverse weather conditions forced us to go around the outside of Scotland in 2.5-3m seas with a short wavelength – every power boater’s nightmare! Despite this, we are very much looking forward to the challenge and are hoping to capture the record back for Sunseeker.” We wish them the best of luck.

– Sunseeker Racing depart on their round-Britain record attempt from Lymington Yacht Haven on Friday September 20 at 04:00hrs –