Up to speed again
Av/Max boat speed in last hour: 10.97 / 22.8 knots
Av/Max wind speed in last hour: 9.95 / 17.6 knots
Wind direction: 153deg
Now out of the grip of the Doldrums Kingfisher2 is now sailing at 16-18 knot winds in a building SE trade wind. "The SE trades will hopefully increase more over the next 24 hours and hold for two to three days," said MacArthur. "We're more west than we'd probably like but on the wind and just aiming to get south as far as we can in this breeze."
The good fortune of the SE trades will be tempered by the difficult tactical decisions ahead for Ellen and shore-based weather router, Meeno Schrader, as they look for the options to cross the south Atlantic high pressure zone and the big decision as to whether to "cut the corner" towards Cape Town or go round the edge keeping closer to the Brazilian side of the Atlantic.
Only 9 minutes behind Orange's record at the 0700GMT this morning, Kingfisher2 is just over a day behind Geronimo who are still enduring '"boat breaking conditions" in the Southern Ocean holding a course at around 44 degrees south. De Kersauson will not risk going further south (although offering the shorter distance) while the Southern Ocean storms deliver gale force winds and waves of up to 7-8 metres high.
Comments from the boat:
Andrew Preece: "Sailors are highly superstitious and asking Neptune for permission to pass across the Equator has humourous overtones but a very serious underlying purpose..."
Below: Andrew Preece is sacrificed to King Neptune
Neal McDonald gets deep and meaningful
The anti-chafe meisters at work