Virgin Atlantic Challenger ll Readies for UK Return

Plymouth: The Herald
Thursday, April 11, 2013
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Plymouth boatyard looks to refit Richard Branson's iconic 'Virgin Atlantic Challenger II' after the boat's 20-year absence from UK shores.

Dan Stevens, a merchant navy master who also runs the Mount Batten ferry and harbour cruise vessels in Plymouth, discovered the powerboat languishing in a boatyard in Majorca, where she has been laid up for more than seven years, reports 'Plymouth: The Herald'.

Stevens is flying out a crew within days to carry out a basic refit to make her seaworthy, and then intends to skipper the boat almost 1,500 nautical miles back to Britain, for refitting in the Seahawk Workboats yard, in Plymouth.

Commissioned by Sir Richard Branson for the historic Blue Riband Transatlantic Challenge, the vessel took the record for the fastest crossing, in 3 days, 8 hours and 31 minutes, averaging 36 knots, on June 29, 1986. However the powerboat was not awarded the coveted riband for two reasons: firstly there was a refueling stop en route, and secondly it was deemed that the vessel had no commercial purpose.
Source: Plymouth: The Herald

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