Red Funnel’s Hi-Speed flagship Red Jet 6 has set a new time of 1hr 17mins 17secs for the anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight.

The ferry firm says the time lays down a challenge to the multi-hull yachts competing in the annual Round the Island Race.

Starting and finishing on the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes, the time was set on Thursday and is in the process of being ratified.

The average recorded speed for the 50.78 mile course was 39.42 knots.

The multi-hull outright circumnavigation record is held by Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3 at 2hr 2mins 31secs set last September.

Guy Bridge holds the benchmark record for the fastest circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight on a kiteboard of 2hrs 32mins 25secs set in June.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO, commented: “We are delighted that Red Jet 6 is likely to be awarded a Performance Certificate by the WSSRC. The quad-powered vessel is the fastest Red Jet in our fleet and as she was built on the Island by Wight Shipyard, it is only fitting that she should set a benchmark time for the multi-hulls to try and beat.”

The Round-the-Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay takes place today. Organised by the Island Sailing Club, it is one of the largest yacht races in the world with around 1,500 yachts competing for class honours.