Ellen in full flow

If you ever wondered why she is adored by millions, read her latest email from the boat

Wednesday February 12th 2003, Author: Kingfisher Challenges, Location: Transoceanic
From Kingfisher Callenges

Summary: 0700 GMT 12.2.03
Position: 26 05' S 34 02' W (Rio de Janeiro 539nm NW / Cape Town 2750nm E)

Ahead/Behind the record: 18 hours 52 minutes behind Orange (using WP4)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 64 hours 43 minutes behind Geronimo (using WP5)

Av/Max boat speed in last hour: 9.03 / 16.4 knots Heading: 232
Av/Max wind speed in last hour: 6.6 / 13.0 knots Wind direction: 98

Light airs are continuing to hamper Kingfisher2 as she tries to cross the 'ridge' as the blocking high pressure bubbles continue to hold back the giant catamaran. On the same day both Orange and Geronimo had slow days (305nm, 277nm). The Southern Ocean is not so far away, but right now, a little too far...

Ellen remarks, "We are around 1000 miles behind de Kersauson which equates to over 2 days but we keep reminding ourselves that these cats did a time in The Race 2000 for the first Southern Ocean leg [Cape of Good Hope - Cape Leeuwin] nearly 2 days faster than Geronmino has just done - so we are a long way from giving up hope on this. Although he is over halfway round the world, we've only does a quarter of this trip, still got three-quarters to go and anything can still happen."

Communications with Kingfisher2 are looking set to improve as the crew have now fixed their high speed data satellite link, which was very nearly totalled in the storms as the start of the voyage. Expect to see lots of stuff coming through from onboard media man, Andrew Preece. Visit http://www.teamkingfisher.com , broadband users check out video and other high speed content at http://kingfisher.sportal.com.

Ellen writes:

"As I sit here typing there is a reflection shining through the nav station hatch on the dark water outisde... The moon seems as if it's blazing out - lighting up the sky and our still silent world... There's a funny feeling on a boat like Kingfisher2 a feeling of complete silence when you're sailing slowly. You get used to the rush of water powering past the hulls. It's normally quite hard to hear what is going on, I suppose like having a conversation at the base of the Niagara Falls. Tonight though - tonight the sound is more akin to the noise of a bubbling burn than a giant waterfall as we trickle through the water... sittting outisde I look up in wonder and frustration at the sky. The weather has not been on our side. It has chosen to test us, to push us hard - though this time so far not with gales and storms, but with nothing. I remember my own words - which right now ring out loud in my head: "What is hard about a record attempt is that it's completely dependant on the weather - unlike a race where you are in the same weather as your competitors..." And I was right - there is no way we could have matched other record attempts at this stage when we have had so little wind. Life on board is becoming more regular as I spend half an hour to an hour on deck at each watch change. I encouraged myself to do that, and it's important. I feel happier chatting to the guys, and its uplifting to be around their fantastic humour. Despite the days of heat and frustration they are driving hard, and for the most part, smiling about it. There is nothing we could have done about this weather situation, there is little we could have predicted. Each change in the weather, and however microscopic, seems to be have been for the worse... It must be nigh on time for our luck to change... I've just been studying a satellite picture, and it shows some tiny cloud bands depictig the outer limits of our windless hole. It's a tiny fragment of information - but real information and not a prediction. The wind has risen to 9 knots - and from the NNE... For the hundredth time today I wonder - is this our ticket out of here?

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