|NEW YORK, N.Y. -(1-6-2005) The 100-year-old west-to-east race record across the North Atlantic, from New York to the Lizard, fell this morning to Robert Miller’s (New York, N.Y./Hong Kong) Mari-Cha IV.
Mari-Cha IV, a 140-foot (43m) schooner that is the world’s longest modern grand-prix race yacht, crossed the line due south of Cornwall’s Lizard Point at 10:05:23 UTC, making her time for the 2,925-nautical mile course--from the Ambrose Light off New York Harbor--9 days, 15 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds, at an average speed for the course of 12.61 knots. The record set by America’s Cup veteran Charlie Barr on board Wilson Marshall’s Atlantic in the race for the Kaiser’s Cup in 1905 was 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds, so Mari-Cha IV, despite the inclement weather conditions experienced during the first half of the race, has still taken 2 days, 12 hours, 5 minutes and 56 seconds off the race record. Her official time awaits formal ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
`I am proud to report that Mari-Cha IV crossed the 'virtual' line by the Lizard Lighthouse at 10:05:23 UTC this morning to break Charlie Barr's 100-year-old-record set on Atlantic back in 1905,` commented owner Robert Miller. `The feeling on board was electric but also emotional, as, even though we have crossed the Atlantic faster on board this great boat, this has definitely been the toughest test yet for Mari-Cha IV and her crew. It has been a difficult, hard fought crossing all the way, but now, I am pleased to say, a most satisfying one.
`However, as is characteristic of this fantastic crew, our moment of joy has been put aside briefly while we continue to push hard, racing up the English Channel to complete the second and final part of this race, which will end at the Needles, Isle of Wight. We have come a long way, but will remain focused on being the first boat to cross the race finish line and look forward to taking up our mooring outside the Royal Yacht Squadron later on today.`
The futuristic-looking giant silver-hulled racing yacht is due to reach the Needles this evening and from there will continue on to Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The Rolex Transatlantic Challenge is sponsored by Rolex and also by Moran Towing Corp., Sandy Hook Pilots, P&O Ports North America, and MedLink. The race is hosted by the New York Yacht Club with the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron. It is supported by the City of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Showboats International is the event's official marine publication; program sponsors include Rolex, North Fork Bank and Holland Jachtbouw. Jobson Sailing, Inc. is making a documentary of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge to be aired on the Outdoor Life Network on Wednesday, September 28 at 1:00 am ET and again on September 28 at 10:00 pm ET and on Channel 13 (PBS) in New York at a date and time to be announced.