As regular Afloat readers will know, the record bid for the innovative Irish craft was postponed from 2019 until this summer.
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 2019. But although the boat had her preliminary launch that February, pressure of work on other craft in the company’s internationally successful pilot and patrol boat ranges at the busy factory saw 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.
Designed and built by Youghal-based Safehaven Marine, managing director Frank Kowalski describes the super-swift craft as “a unique, hybrid hull design, asymmetrical catamaran, with a wave-piercing deep V mono-hull”.
Valued at over €1m, it is designed for high speed, with minimal turbulence.
Measuring 23 m in length, it has a 5.3 m beam and boasts a Hyuscraft hydrofoil system fitted between the two catamaran hulls.
In July 2017 the 17-metre original Thunder Child set a record in circumnavigating Ireland, anticlockwise, via Rockall, in just over 34 hours.
It was previously indicated that between July and August 2020 the same five-member crew, aboard Thunder Child II will attempt an unprecedented 4,500 km transatlantic route from Killybegs to Newfoundland via refuelling stops at Greenland and Iceland.