Maiden II took line honours in the Round the Island race today, but in a time just 12 minutes outside that of Rodney Pattisson’s course record set during the annual lap of the Isle of Wight last year on Dexia Eure et Loir.
The light conditions forecast did not materialize; instead there was a regular 15-17 knots of wind with a backdrop of dramatic clouds occasionally giving way to brilliant sunshine.
"The boat went really, the crew was fantastic, but the wind was in the wrong direction for going up the Solent," said Maiden II skipper Brian Thompson afterwards. "We were always beating or tacking. Our speed to windward was around 12 knots and that wasn’t enough even with our speed around the back of the Island to make up the time."
Tacking took up valuable time and the maxi-catamaran was behind the record by the time she reached the Needles waypoint. "We have been quite unlucky with the wind today," explained navigator Adrienne Cahalan. "It started south-westerly and now just when we want it to be south-westerly it has gone round to the west," she added, as Maiden II re-entered the eastern Solent.
The expected David and Goliath showdown between Maiden II and Yvan Bourgnon’s Rexona Men came to an abrupt halt when the French 60ft trimaran damaged her daggerboard, it is believed as a result of hitting East Leap Bank.
At the time they were leading the colossal Round the Island fleet having flown across the startline straight into pole position and flew down the Solent with her main hull at a precarious angle.
More stories from the Round the Island race will follow...