On Thursday 22nd April 2021, MOD70 PowerPlay completed the 138-mile course Cowes to Dinard Course in an unofficial time of 4 hrs 34 mins 06 secs, well inside the official world record. However, Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which started their attempt just after PowerPlay, was to eclipse that time.
Maserati completed their run in an unofficial time of 4 hrs 30 mins 49 secs, just 3 minutes and 17 seconds faster than PowerPlay. Both teams recorded boat speeds in excess of 40 knots, at an average speed in excess of 30 knots.
To put the amazing pace into context, PowerPlay’s Tom Dawson quipped that the Portsmouth to St Malo ferry takes seven hours!
Peter Cunningham and all the PowerPlay crew were quick to congratulate Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati crew for their victory. It had been a fierce yet friendly competition, won by the narrowest of margins.
“Fantastic, the sun is shining, and we broke the record, but unfortunately for us, Maserati broke it too!
“We hit a top speed of 43 knots with Ned (Collier Wakefield) on the helm and SiFi (Simon Fisher) was making sure we stayed on course for the record. We buried the leeward hull a couple of times, so the amount of spray was enormous!
“Paul Larsen took the helm coming into the finish and pushed us really hard, it was fantastic. We did have to put in a couple of gybes in The Solent and we had an issue with the reefing, I guess that cost us time.”
“Why do I do it – How else can you break a world record at 80 years old?
“It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment for the crew. When the boat is in the groove and takes off, screaming along, but really well balanced, it is an amazing experience. To be racing on this man-made creation which has a spirit of its own, combined with a brilliant team, it is a truly wonderful feeling.”