Jules Verne postponed
Edwards had originally planned to make an attempt at the prestigious record in early 2003. The build-up to the circumnavigation could not have been more ideal - the crew on Maiden II have set four world records over the past six months, including the Round Britain and Ireland and Cross-Channel records.
Edwards, however, has made the decision to delay any attempt at the Jules Verne on the advice of investors and sponsors involved in the Maiden II project, who have requested a longer lead time to untap the full international marketing potential of the campaign.
Edwards has also announced today that she and Maiden II will be aiming to participate in The Race, the non-stop round-the-world race for maxi catamarans. The Race, which was first run in 2000, starts in February 2004 in Marseilles.
In addition, in the build-up to The Race during the course of 2003, Maiden II will make a number of new world record attempts. The two main targets will be the Transatlantic
speed record, and to recapture the Round Britain and Ireland record from Steve Fossett.
Tracy Edwards commented: “The key to the Jules Verne is making your attempt when you are fully prepared, and this includes every aspect of the campaign. I think our track record this year proves that we already have a great team and probably the best boat of its class anywhere in the world, but the campaign as a whole will benefit from having greater preparation time, both in terms of the work that can be done on the boat and on the marketing and commercial aspects.
"It’s a shame that we won’t be on the water at the same time as Ellen MacArthur, but the Jules Verne is not about beating other boats – it’s about beating the clock.
"The revisions we’ve made to the schedule for Maiden II mean we will now have a very full, three year campaign, which is far more attractive to our sponsors, and we also think is great news for British sailing.”
Maiden II’s revised schedule will now be as follows:
Early 2003 Maiden II to get full re-fit including new sails
Summer 2003 Transatlantic West to East record attempt
Route of Discovery record attempt
EDS 24 hour World Speed Record attempt
(Aim to become first boat to sail 700 miles in a day)
Late 2003 Round Britain and Ireland record attempt
Cross-Channel record attempt
Standby for Jules Verne record attempt
See The Daily Sail's interview with Tracy Edwards last week.