Key: red dots = Kingfisher2, red crosses = Orange, red squares = Geronimo. It's day 14  (0300 25 Jan for Geronimo) and this shows how much further down the track Olivier de Kersauson's tri was at this stage - two days ahead of Orange's time
 

Key: red dots = Kingfisher2, red crosses = Orange, red squares = Geronimo. It's day 14 (0300 25 Jan for Geronimo) and this shows how much further down the track Olivier de Kersauson's tri was at this stage - two days ahead of Orange's time

Kingfisher behind

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Ellen and her crew

Thursday February 13th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Day 14 Position 24hr run Av speed
Kingfisher2 30° 59S 33°46W 297 12.38
Geronimo 38°35S 10°16W 404 21.96
Orange 33°40S 24°13W 388 16.19

After a week where their daily runs have been a disappointing 300 miles on average, a high pressure system now stands between them and the ideal parabolic track down into the Southern Ocean. But finally there may be a light at the end of the tunnel with some good news weather-wise just around the corner for Ellen and the crew of Kingfisher.

To their southwest there is a low pressure system, the effects of which Kingfisher2 will start to feel increasingly over the course of today. Sitting in the north northwesterly winds in this system's northeasterly quadrant will give Kingfisher2 the all important breeze she is looking for and will slingshot her down towards the Southern Ocean.

Over the last few days Kingfisher2 has been forced to take the most westerly southbound track of all the recent Jules Verne prospects. Now she will be forced to become the most southerly in order to hook into the depression that will get her south.

From here Ellen will have some catching up to do...

By our reckoning at this stage, 14 days into their record attempt, Geronimo was 725 miles ahead of Orange's record. Currently with the added miles she is going to have to sail to get around the high pressure system Kingfisher2 is around 630 miles astern of Orange's equivalent position. Offshore Challenge equate this to 31 hours 26 minutes behind Orange and 77 hours 34 minutes behind Geronimo.

Ellen sent this missive: "What a stark contrast from just hours ago... It's now a black night - we are crashing through the waves making typing virtually impossible. It was Neal's watch just before sunset - there was little wind, less than 15 knots - and the sea was as flat and quiet as it had ever been. It was approaching 2100 hours - and the sun was begining to set. There was a line of cloud in the distance which seemed to close on us very quickly... I called Meeno for our evening weather update - and incredibly within that one phone call where I was descrbing the new clouds - we were sailing in 25 knots of wind with a really lively sea... Incredible how things can change like that. As Guillermo left his watch to hand over to Neal he looked into the distance seeing the clouds approach. "Welcome to the gates of hell," he proclaimed and retired below to his bunk....
ex "

It is ironic that Ellen and Kingfisher2 are certainly the better package than Geronimo, but de Kersauson and his crew have had the luck of the Gods with the weather, which Ellen to date has not.

We hope that the team's bid to play catch up over the next few weeks will not result in Kingfisher2 being pushed beyond her limit...

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