Palam.—Jeremy Linford, who was in charge of the refit project here in Palma and who skippered VAC2 home, with her owner Dan Stevens, said yesterday that through the Bulletin the crew would like to thank everyone in Palma and the STP yard for all their help in restoring the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II which Sir Richard Branson, had built 27 years ago, to set a new Blue Ribband record for the fastest Atlantic crossing. For those who have been following the story, she ended up being dumped in the STP yard seven years ago but earlier this year Dan Stevens,came to her rescue and, at midday on Sunday, as planned. VAC2 thundered into Plymouth harbour at 46 knots.“It was a great experience, we had been given special permission to break the usual 10 knots speed barrier and hundreds of people had come out to watch us. Some had been waiting for four hours and in fact, we had made such good time, we held off out at sea until midday, in order not to disappoint anyone. “The boat handled really well, we had to watch the weather windows, but on the whole it was a really smooth journey home, although there were a few bumpy moments, however she held up well and we're really pleased as with boats, you never know. But we had no problems,” Jeremy said.

Dan Stevens who owns Mount Batten Ferries, said: “It's epic to bring her back into British waters. It's brilliant. “I'm glad that I was in a position to save such an historic boat.” Dan already has big plans to restore the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II to her former glory.
He will race her in the Cowes, Torquay, in September and the ‘round Britain race'next year.

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