Speed freaks

madforsailing spoke to Adrienne Cahalan and Paul Larsen about Maiden II's 24 hour record
Aside from the occasion Steve Fossett's then brand new maxi-catamaran PlayStation went out on her maiden voyage, Maiden II's recent feat is one of the rare occasions when a maxi-cat has set out with the sole intention of breaking the 24 hour record. But it was touch and go right to end as navigator Adrienne Cahalan and Australian helmsman Paul Larsen explained over the phone to madfor sailing from on board. To make the attempt, Cahalan says that Newport, Rhode Island was a good place to start from. "We needed quite a lot of runway. We needed 25-30 knots and we needed to do with sailing in the same direction." They were also lucky with the conditions. "It was asking quite a lot. We only waited three weeks, that's quite a short lead up time." Cahalan had analysed the weather charts and taken the 110ft catamaran to a point 250 miles SSE of Newport to hook up with a weather system. In fact they arrived at 'point zero' too soon and had to wait five hours for the wind to build. "Then we hoisted sails and turned right, " said Cahalan. The trip began early evening (GMT) on Wednesday night. "We were in front of a low. Eventually it passed off to the northeast. We were going at 105deg - east south east direction. So it was quite warm the whole time." The course - just south of due east - was deliberate as the team did not want to have to negotiate the fog and ice they might have encountered had they been heading back to Europe on the great circle that would have taken them close to Newfoundland and the Grand Banks. "It was so nice not to have to sail from A to B. you could find the