The North Atlantic Challenge by Safehaven Marine of Youghal’s new 70ft XSV20 Thunder Child II was originally scheduled to be underway in mid-July this year. But although the boat had her preliminary launch in February, pressure of work on other craft in the company’s internationally successful pilot and patrol boat ranges at the busy factory has seen a postponement of the Challenge until 2020. And while the preferred strategy is still in favour of the northern route, the plan now is to do it west to east.
The revised programme is outlined in the following statement:
“Safehaven Marine’s ambition for 2020 is to set a new UIM-approved Transatlantic World Record from the North American continent to Ireland. Traditionally there are three main routes possible. The first is a direct route from New York to the West coast of Ireland. This is the shortest route but it is a distance of 2,600nm with a leg of 1,670nm across the Atlantic. This leg would require a fuel capacity that is not possible in a vessel of our size factoring our cruise speed (40kts) or mid ocean refuelling, not allowed by the UIM.
The second is from New York to the Azores, Portugal then Ireland. Although the longest leg across the Atlantic is less, at 1,300nm it is still beyond our range, and would be the greatest distance overall at 3,650nm. The third option is the Northern route, starting from Newfoundland, then Greenland, Iceland and down to the North West coast of Ireland. This route is the only real option open to us as the longest open ocean leg between refuelling points is 758nm, reasonably comfortably within the maximum range of Thunder Child II, and the total voyage is 2,400nm (4,500km)”