Virgin Atlantic Challenger II back in UK waters for first time in 16 years

Richard Branson's record-breaking boat was found rotting in a Mallorcan boatyard

Record-breaking boat Virgin Atlantic Challenger II is back in British waters for the first time in 16 years after arriving in Plymouth yesterday after a journey from Mallorca.

She was brought here by new owner and local businessman Dan Stevens, who found the boat rotting in a Palma boatyard and set about restoring her.

Stevens, who owns Seahawk Workboats in Plymouth, told the Plymouth Herald: “It’s epic to bring her back into British waters. I’m glad that I was in a position to save such an historic boat.”

Virgin Atlantic Challenger II
, carrying Richard Branson, crossed the Atlantic in three days, eight hours and 31 minutes in 1986, breaking the previous record by just two hours.


Stevens says he will now continue his restoration of the 72ft boat, which he intends to race in the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes and take around Britain.

Recommended videos for you

Stevens told the Plymouth Herald: “It’s only done 800 hours on the clock; a lot of that was done up until 1996. It’s only done 70 since then.

“We’ve done more in the last week than she’s done in 16 years, and she ran fault free, without a problem. Now we’ll just continue to finish the refit and then see what comes of it.”

Subscribe to the print version of MBY
Subscribe to a digital version of MBY


Latest videos