Fast lane to Newport


Sam Davies sends her exclusive report from on board MaidenII
Sam (right) cleans out her doggie bowl It is towards the end of day two of our Antigua - Newport trip. We are throwing down the gauntlet and setting a new record for this course. This is much better than just delivering Maiden II up to Newport as we have some real race training, and as we are setting this new record and we do not want it to be easy to break, it is full-on. Since our Route of Discovery attempt, we have been in Antigua where we did some corporate sailing, and some rest and recuperation! We also did a little bit of essential boatwork, although this was not easy as our container was going direct to Newport and we were short of spares and tools as the boat carries little extras on board for record attempts. This is a problem with these fast cats: you get there before the container if you are not careful, so you have to plan ahead! We had been on standby for exactly one week by the time we left, and we were all very keen to get back out into the ocean and do some sailing again. We crossed the start line off Falmouth Harbour at 1700 on Friday. Then we had 24 hours of fast reaching - 25-33 knots boat speed in around 17-23 knots wind. In the first 36 hours we had covered half of the course, and our predicted trip time is 72-84 hours, so things are looking promising. In the last few hours, the wind has dropped as we are leaving the trade winds and must negotiate the Bermuda high pressure ridge. We have been changing sails to optimise the boat speed - first from headsail to gennakers, and now we have the code zero up. We have also been

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