Goss to conduct air search for Team Philips

Loss of Satcom tracking means it will be, "like searching for a needle in a haystack"

Thursday December 21st 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Pete Goss is due to take an aircraft out on Thursday to search for Team Philips somewhere in the Atlantic. The job will be much harder after the team lost track of the stricken catamaran on their satellite tracking system.
Goss believed the boat was lying approximately 650 miles west of Ireland, but admitted on his website: "Finding Team Philips will be difficult - it will be rather like searching for a needle in a haystack.

"The team has not been able to poll Team Philips today. This can mean one of three things:
1.The wind generator has stopped working (this could be temporary, due to lack of wind) and the Satcom C has run out of power.
2.The elements have overwhelmed the accommodation pod.
3.The vessel has been found and the Satcom C has been turned off."

On the aircraft will be Pete Goss, Andy Hindley, the management team and some of the sponsors. Goss said: "We are finalising the plans to salvage Team Philips should she be found tomorrow. We will update you as soon as we have further information."

Meanwhile in Barcelona, the remaining entrants to The Race are continuing with final preparations, including a two-day survival training course that is part of the stringent safety requirements set down by the event's organisers.

Cam Lewis and his Team Adventure catamaran had barely been in dock 12 hours before they went sailing again for a sponsors’ fly-by. It was also an opportunity for the American skipper to take his father, George, for a sail on the 110-foot beast.

Lewis said the 12-day delivery trip from France was "a wonderful test for the boat and the crew". He went on: "We put the boat and the crew through a punishing three-day test in ferocious, wintry North Atlantic storm conditions. Our boat, our systems and our people came through with flying colours.

"We also had some great light air sailing in the Mediterranean after we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and that gave us an opportunity to work on our sail trimming techniques and refine our crew drills.

"Team Adventure is an extremely big and powerful boat with extraordinary working loads on the sails and gear. Every mile we sail brings additional insights on how we can trim and tune for maximum speed and efficiency. This boat is a wind generator. It sails double the speed of the wind. If it is blowing ten knots the boat does 20 knots.

"It is thrilling to be in Barcelona and at the starting line, arriving just a day after our sister ships who got a big-time head start on us with their building schedules."

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