Maiden call off record attempt

Wind dies at 11th hour en route to Salvador finish

Monday April 22nd 2002, Author: Mark Bullingham/James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
In a frustrating finale to Maiden II's westbound transatlantic crossing, fading Bahamian winds denied the crew the opportunity to break the two-year-old record.

With 200 miles remaining to break the record last night, the local winds died, leaving a few knots of upwind breeze for the maxi-catamaran. Continuing would have required sailing upwards of 300 miles in a faltering breeze. At 1900 GMT on day 10, the crew consulted with Sailing Director Tracy Edwards (who is currently engaged in sponsorship negotiations in the UK) and decided to call off the record attempt.

Edwards was clearly pleased with the progress the crew has made in such a short space of time, while being frustrated that the conditions had not allowed Maiden II to break a record on her first proper voyage.

"We decided to abandon the attempt when we knew that the wind was not going to let us finish in time," commented Edwards. "There is no prize for second place when you are breaking records! I'm thrilled that the crew has achieved such a fast transatlantic crossing. Although it would have been good to have broken a record at our first attempt, they did a great job to catch up with Club Med's time, with two days to go. They really deserved to be in the record books. We'll come back and break it soon!

"With only four days training to get used to the boat and get her up to speed, to come so close is an achievement in itself. Grant Dalton had been training for months before they tried the record and they also broke the 24 hour record. It's amazing to thik that Maiden II only went back in the water 26 days ago!

"The crew have clearly proved that we are 'on the pace' with this amazing boat and as a training exercise this attempt has been invaluable. If we continue to progress at this rate, then I'm sure that we can break the Jules Verne record next year."

Maiden II was at 23 48N 71 04W when the decision to change course for Antigua was made.

She is now due to set sail for Antigua where she will be engaged in corporate entertainment during Antigua Race Week.

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