SI Vault
 
Around the World in 70 Days?
Tim Zimmermann
November 29, 1999
Balloonist Steve Fossett is still chasing records, now in a high-speed catamaran
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 29, 1999

Around The World In 70 Days?

Balloonist Steve Fossett is still chasing records, now in a high-speed catamaran

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

Fossett is confident that PlayStation has a good shot at the transatlantic record, which has stood for nine years, if the winds blow at least 15 knots for the duration of the crossing. (He would prefer 25 to 30 knots.) To maximize the chances that this will happen, Fossett has invested in a meteorological study of North Atlantic weather patterns over the past 10 years. The preliminary conclusion is that November is the most propitious time to find a succession of windy weather systems that PlayStation can hitch onto all the way across the Atlantic. "Everybody gets the weather right for setting off," Fossett says. "But it's the finishing weather that's tough."

Fossett still muses about the possibility of becoming the first person to balloon around the world alone. But for the moment, a ridiculously fast sailboat and the possibility of breaking two more records—especially winning the Jules Verne Trophy—appear to give him enough adrenaline. "Sailing around the world is one of the ultimate goals in sailing," Fossett says. "And there's a lot of romance and excitement associated with an around-the-world event, regardless of the sport."

1 2