One week out
End of Day 7
Distance to Finish: 1409nm
Distance from start: 2523nm
Average speed since start: 15.07
Average speed needed to finish: 16.2
Hours to finish: 86 5
Daily run: 282 @ 250T
SOG: anywhere from 10kts to 20kts
COG: split gybes 310T @ 230T
Miles/Hours behind Club Med record: 6 or 75 miles approx
Our position: 23 53N 48 59W
Club Med Position: 24 25N 50 30W
Wind: E 090T at 15kts
Forecast: More of the same all the way to the Bahamas.
We remain optimistic about breaking the record because you just never know and we are only six hours behind. All we need is a 20 degree wind shift and things will change dramatically because it is all about making miles towards the mark.
We are now going fast averaging boat speeds of 20 knots which is well abaove the required speed of 16.2, however with the wind right behind it is split gybes and no gybe is really favoured. This is why this record is quite a hard one to beat. It is not unlike the Jules Verne Trophy record where you can leave on the conditions that you want that will give you a head start, however what you get five days or so later down the track is what you get.
Long term planning based on weather models is possible but not 100% reliable. However it is also this factor that makes the record still achievable because we are approaching the uncertainities of the edge of the Bermuda Triangle where we finish and anything could happen (let's not hope though what normally happens in the Bermuda Triangle).
People have been mailing and saying my reports are really boring but it is hard to jazz up facts and figures and I haven't had a copy of a People, Hello or Who Weekly on board to get some interesting other facts and figures. I mean who is the father of Liz Hurley's baby? We here on board think it is Ross Field. Who lives secretly with Wacko Jacko - Knut Frostad is the rumour circulating between the hulls. Who is the love child of Joan Collins and Tony Blair? Matthew Humphries. Who is about to get married to Russell Crowe? Stand by for that one - it is someone on here apparently.
News from the Crew - Sharon Ferris
What is fast, fun and in control? Maiden 2!
This is the most beautiful sailing I have ever had the experience of doing! We had a hard first two days with blast reaching in rough conditions, but since then it has been five days of bliss. It has been getting warmer, the wet weather gear has not come out, and last night I spent the watch in my socks/T-shirt and shorts.
Sailing along at 15 knots with only 8 knots of wind the only problem is that this is not fast enough for the record. Now we need to average 16.5 knots right now on my standby watch we are going 21 knots so things are looking OK I think that this record is going to be right down to the wire.
One of the best things with Maiden 2 for me is that the nippers from Royal & SunAlliance are back together - Sam Davies , Emma Richards and me, Sharon
Ferris. We have all grown up alot since our Jules Verne attempt in '98.
Sailed some exciting projects with other projects as dreams. The friendship is one I value and will never be replaced by what we have all been through.
Our watch system is made up of three groups and every group has their special ways!
The midnight to 4 am watch is made up of Brian Thompson (long shanks) our driver. This guy is as tall as the sky and has the heart of the heaven. He's a very talented sailor and has the respect of the whole crew and is a fantastic leader. I have learnt a lot form him, mostly patience - he is so calm and this keeps his calls consistent and correct. Emma Richards (Scotty) is another driver and cannot hide her cute Scottish accent. Emma is a great driver and has a lot of offshore experience. She's a great crew motivater and always ready to help someone out. Greg (Golden) Homann is another driver and has never been beaten to bed! He has a huge mind and knows lots about everything. He's our snowboarding instructor, Skiff sailor extraordinaire a great guy and ready for the next joke!
Christine ( the Quiet one) Haffi: Christine has been very busy learning English/Kiwi/Aussie/Swedish/Finnish and with what sometimes comes out of our mouths and all the different accents on this boat it is no wonder she is left wondering what went on. She is coping really well in a hard situation.
Sharon Ferris (Kiwi) Driver- All round trouble maker, Likes to play jokes on other people and cops a lot back in return! All good stuff. Loves thiskind of sailing and has trouble to go back to the smaller/slower Olympic class. But racing is racing!
4am to 8am
Guillermo Altardill (Gismo): Driver - our rockstar who sailed on Club Med and has brought a wealth of experience to the team. We have all learnt a lot from him and having someone on the boat who has already sailed 45,000 miles on her is something else. Mikaela von Koskull (Miki): Driver, very talented yachtwomen and is one of the most experienced female sailors in the world, very good driver and always pushes the boat. Sam Davies (Bowspice): Driver - our sailor model - we keep telling her she is in the wrong business! Great person always on time to watch changes and with a smile. Sam I think has come along the furthest out of all of us , with her Mini miles she has gained a lot of confidence.
Ben Woods (Dad). What a tornado! Everyone knows when Ben is on deck and his jokes, rigging and boat fixing is second to none. The perfect person to have when you need a fix-it person. Stan (Stan the Man) - part of our french team, Stan took on the flying block on the staysail on the first night out and lost the battle with his nose receiving two cuts along the brim. The best hot drink maker on the boat and proud of it!
8am - noon
Helena Darvelid. Driver - Has a smile from ear to ear as she steers this boat as fast as anyone else. Always ready for a good joke and works hard at making this campaign work. Paul Larsen (Waffler) Emma swears that he took a breath two days ago in between his fantastic stories and great driving always ready to jump up and do a sail change, Frazer Brown (Strawberry Cream) Driver. Always at the end of something - either fixing the safety to the reef lines on the boom or on the end of the bowsprit, with the furler for our monster gennaker, (that with full main has a sail area of over 1000 square metres with is combination we can
usually go up to six knots faster than the wind). Regis Brule (The sweet monster) always has sweets in his pockets, and giving out snacks. One thing for sure on this trip we have not lost any weight. Always sitting on the end of a sheet quietly trimming all watch.
Anne Monmousseau is in charge of the food and safety on the boat and has done a great job in putting the right amount of food on the boat - a hard job to do when you are feeding 16 people for two weeks. If you imagine the different orders that would come from this group if we were sitting at a restaurant, Anne has done a awesome Job! Also another quiet trimmer all watch.
And our trusty Navigator, Adrienne Cahalan. With not a moment's rest she is bombarded with our questions; "so where is that 30 knots you were talking about?" or "how many miles to go?", "How is the record looking?", "What is our average speed?". Being one of the best in the world it is not hard for Ado to stand the challenge of us and she keeps us honest when we are speeding off too high on course. The Navigators wish list is headed 'Lower and Faster' please!
Project leader Tracy Edwards is doing a great job in supporting this team like no one else in the history of yachting. She is a leader and an inspiration to us all, Without Tracy we would not be here having a great time trying to beat a World Record.
So it's a great team with a great boat, the future is exciting and I cannot wait to live it. One of the biggest gifts in life is when you cannot wait to get up in the morning or in our case for our next watch. Talking of watch we are on in 15 minutes so gotta go and get ready!
It is our turn to play go fast for four hours.
Love to all my family and friends, missing you all and cannot wait to see ya.
Take care, Sharon