Sir Richard Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group will this week join America’s Cup Challenger, TEAMORIGIN, in a new attempt to break the transatlantic record, which currently stands at 6 days, 17 hrs, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, to become the undisputable fastest mono-hull sailing yacht to cross the Atlantic.
The partnership with TEAMORIGIN, the British America’s Cup sailing team, is the second major sponsorship for the Virgin Money credit card business in recent months, following the announcement that it is to take over sponsorship of the London Marathon in 2010 in a deal worth over 17 GBP million over five years.
Veteran adventurer Branson has made a number of world record-breaking attempts since 1985. However this latest attempt will be the first time he is joined by children, 26 year old Holly and 23 year old Sam, both very competent sailors, in a voyage which will see them navigating icebergs and floating hazards such as containers, whales and sharks. As a qualified Doctor, Holly Branson will also take on the role of medic onboard.
‘Virgin Money’ was launched in April 2008 (Editor: as “Speedboat”) and competed in its first event, the Newport to Bermuda race in June 2008 where it took line honours. In this new record attempt the yacht will set off from the Ambrose Lighthouse (just out of New York) sailing to Lizard Point, the most South West point of the UK.
Virgin Founder, Richard Branson commented: “It is real privilege to set sail with such an able and experienced crew as TEAMORIGIN and I’m also thrilled that Holly and Sam have the opportunity to share the experience. The support of Jayne Anne and the Virgin Money team has been crucial in making this record attempt happen and we’re all hoping we can add to the recent successes of British sailing. I’m also delighted to be taking on another record attempt – ten years has been too long!”