On Wednesday, September 19th, the Jetlev Southwest crew headed out for some pre-Catalina training. Dean O’Malley piloted the Jetlev for over 2 hours straight, flying from the Jetlev Southwest office to the Newport Dunes, then out into the ocean, trailing behind Jetlev Southwest team member Chris Herman’s boat, Escape.
With relatively calm seas, the going was still fairly slow, which has caused the estimated trip time to jump from two hours to four hours and the expectation is now that there will be at least one refueling during the 26.2 mile crossing.
Top speeds reached during the practice run were about 10 knots. On the day of the record attempt, the seas will hopefully be calmer, due to the early morning start, when there is usually less wind and chop, so the hope is that speeds of 15+ knots will be reached.
Here’s a short video of the practice run: