By Barry Pickthall
Sunseeker XS2000 Smashes Speed and Endurance Records
Records topple for English powerboat crew.
In brilliant sunshine and flat water conditions, the Sunseeker XS Racing team led by Ian Sanderson and Peter Dredge crossed the start line off Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight, England, July 23 at 9:28 a.m. The teams was after four new world powerboating speed and endurance records, including the 24-hour record, currently standing at 636 nautical miles.
Piloting a Sunseeker XS2000 with twin 450-hp Yanmar turbocharged diesel engines, the team set a blistering pace, completing each of its first two laps around the Isle of Wight in 48 minutes. That translated to an average speed of 62.50 knots and put the team on track to complete 1,000 nautical miles in 24 hours — the ultimate goal of the campaign.
First Record Falls
Dredge and Sanderson reached their first milestone in the afternoon of July 23, when they upped the existing record for five laps of the Island by 23.50 knots to an average speed of 62.45 knots per hour. The boat averaged 48 to 49 minutes per lap. In its first refueling, it took on 546 litres of diesel in a scant 12 minutes.
“The boat is running like a dream and our target of 1000 n.miles in 24 hours looks very attainable, although there is a long way to go,” said PJ Stevens, who completed the first four laps with the team and serves as its fitness consultant. “The boys are thoroughly up for it and all the training is beginning to kick in.”
Second Record Falls
Several hours after breaking their first world record, Sanderson and Dredge reached their second milestone. They upped the existing six-hour world record to an average of 61 knots per hour in the Sunseeker XS Racing XS2000 powerboat. Their average lap time rose slightly to between 49 to 52 minutes, primarily because of a southwest wind that kicked up mild chop that combined with a changing tide to make conditions tricky.
“The sea on the south of the Island has got pretty confused as the tides peaked but we have high hopes that the wind will drop away as the tide ebbs and allow the seas to flatten out gain, just like this morning,” said Dredge. “The boat is doing just what we ask of it, running like clockwork, though we have noticed a slight vibration on the last two laps which we need to monitor carefully. Generally, though, things are looking pretty good.”
Final Record Falls
On July 24 at 9:28 a.m., Sunseeker XS2000 racing team claimed its world records final record. In 24 hours of running, the boat covered 1,100 nautical miles and average 45.83 knots per hour. That distance bested the previous record set earlier this year by a team from Dubai by 464 nautical miles.
Sanderson and Dredge also set new records at the 16-hour mark, as well as the previously noted six- and 12-hour marks.
“When we clocked 650 miles in the first 12 hours and exceeded our full day’s run in Dubai, we felt that there was something special in the air and it just got better from there onwards,” said Sanderson. “The boat performed as well as we know it can and the Yanmars never missed a beat, which is some big tribute to British and Japanese engineering and the way in which our crew brought it all together.”
Trophies for the four World records were presented to Sanderson and Dredge by Richard Campbell-Walter on behalf of Reed Travel Exhibitions to Sanderson,
Dredge and PJ Stevens, the team’s fitness consultant, who rode in the boat for 20 of its 24 hours. Other major supporters of the record runs were Lotus Cars, Apollo Lifts, MAN Trucks and KSI Financial Services.
All record times and speeds are subject to ratification by the Union Internationale Motonautique, the world governing body of powerboating.