A night from hell
Two days after setting sail from New York City, British billionaire and avid sailor Sir Richard Branson abandoned his bid to break the trans-Atlantic speed record Friday after a 40-foot “monster” wave ripped the main sail of his mono-hull racing yacht.
Branson and his crew made the decision on Friday when the 99-foot Virgin Money was about 600 miles out in the Atlantic. No one was injured in the storm, and the sailors hoped to reach St. George, Bermuda – the nearest point of land – later Friday.
The crew included members of Britain’s America’s Cup team, several medal-winning Olympians and Branson’s son, Sam, 23, and daughter, Holly, 26. Branson had hoped to break the record for a trans-Atlantic crossing by reaching Lizard Point off the coast of England in less than six days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds – the current record.
“We decided to abandon it on this occasion and fight another day,” Branson told CNN television from his yacht. He added that if the boat could be repaired and ready within the next three weeks, he would have another go before the season ends.
Branson is now heading to St George’s on Bermuda in order the make the necessary repairs. “If we can get away with this season which ends in two, three weeks time, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll get the boat ready for another attempt in the spring of next year.”