It’s not often a record-breaker visits Bangor but Safehaven Marine’s Managing Director Frank Kowalski, who set the Round Ireland and Rockall Record in the original 17 metre XSV 17 demonstrator Thunder Child in 2017, brought his striking yellow hulled Thunder Child 11 for an overnight in Bangor on Belfast Lough before heading north to Ardfern on Loch Craignish on the Scottish west coast.
It is understood that the idea was to sample the Gulf of Corryvreckan, the narrow strait between the islands of Jura and Scarba, off the west coast of mainland Scotland, famous for its strong tidal currents and standing waves. The whirlpool which forms at the right state of the tide is the third largest in the world.
The Round Ireland record was set in 2017 at 34 hours, 01 minute and 47 seconds as reported here
After the visit to the Scottish west coast, the vessel returned to Bangor to refuel, then headed to Belfast where it spent the night before going south with another stop in the County Down fishing port of Kilkeel.
Thunder Child 11 was designed and built in Youghal in Co Cork by Safehaven Marine and as reported in the Irish Examiner, 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”. It is 23 m in length, has a 5.3 m beam and boasts a Hyuscraft hydrofoil system fitted between the two catamaran hulls. It is valued at over €1m.
The fastest crossing of the Atlantic is the ultimate goal but this attempt has been postponed due to the Covid 19 outbreak and travel restrictions. Safehaven Marine said that “ Due to the very small Greenland sea ice and North Atlantic weather window that existed for us to make the attempt, it is not going to be possible for us to undertake the voyage this.