Getting the old crew back together

Tomorrow we are getting the old crew back together. Im looking forward to joining the original Virgin Atlantic Challenger II crew who broke the Blue Riband record in 1986 for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic.

We will travel in the boat from Plymouth harbour to Foweys Albert Quay, departing Plymouth at around 10am and arriving at Fowey between 10:30 and 11am. If youre in the area, do come along to see the historic boat and share in the excitement.

Memories are sure to come flooding back to 1986, when we crossed the Atlantic in the boat in a record breaking three days, eight hours and 31 minutes at an average speed over 36 knots.

Weve been digging through the archives, going through old boxes and searching far and wide to find all of the original photos from the original Challenger II you can see lots of them in this blog.

Our first attempt to reclaim the Blue Riband award for Britain ended in disaster within touching distance of the finishing line, as we hit unseen wreckage as we approached the Scilly Isles. You could see the word Virgin bobbing above the surface as the boat sunk.

We were determined to break the record with the new Challenger II. It was a tough journey, with water in the fuel tanks, an RAF Nimrod interception, severe sickness and the crew often standing deep in leaking oil.

But we finally made it, breaking the record to recapture the Blue Riband for Britain.

Huge thanks to Dan Stevens, who brought the boat back to the UK and renovated it after finding it abandoned in a boatyard in Majorca. His skill and perseverance has made all this possible.

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