Kingfisher2 finally gets to put the throttle down

Friday February 14th 2003, Author: Kingfisher Challenges, Location: Transoceanic
From Kingfisher Challenges

Summary 0700 GMT 14.2.03
Position: 38 30' S 26 48' W

Ahead/Behind the record: 14 hours 0 minutes behind Orange (using WP5)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 78 hours 33 minutes behind Geronimo (using WP5)

Av/Max boat speed in last hour: 19.12 / 28.5 knots
Av/Max wind speed in last hour: 25.49 / 32.8 knots Wind direction: 349

Kingfisher2 has scored her best 24 hour run, a blistering 567 miles in the past 24 hours. "At last, we're off...thermals, 30 knots of wind and we're hooning!" Check out the wind speed graphs and boat speed graphs in POSITIONS at

The crew have now made up 17 hours on the record, thanks to the high mileage clocked up in the last 24 hours and their position south. Orange on day 14 last year ran 226 miles positioned at 32 south - a gradual gaining back of some miles but still a long way to go... Although, the record deficit on Geronimo shows no improvement as Geronimo also sailed 500+ miles on day 14...

Kingfisher2 is now blasting downwind under full main and storm spinnaker in 30 knots of wind from the north west, now under a 100 miles from the 40 degree south line, and the official entry in to the Southern Ocean.

Ellen spoke via phone:

"Sailing along at 23 knots - averaging 26-27 knots though. Incredible how things have changed in the last few hours, never mind days, really. Gone from hot, hot sunshine to sailing downwind in 30 knots of breeze and quite heavy seas. Now we are down to almost south of the 40th parallel so we're heading pretty quickly down into the Southern Ocean and quickly east as well - we had a good day yesterday averaging over 25 knots.

"Yesterday I was sitting down below in the nav station in shorts and t-shirt and now sitting here in thermals, mid layer and blanket over my legs! The water temperature is getting lower and lower - pretty chilly. Amazing how things can change in 24 hours...and today we saw first albatross - in fact, there were two of them - absolutely stunning, massive...

"Should be able to keep this pace for a while longer - sailing along with spinnaker and full main in 28-30 knots breeze. We've got a depression passing underneath us and we need to gybe over the top of that and ride with it as long as we can. Most important thing is to set ourselves up for next depression which is much bigger and more powerful, and we have to pick the right point on the front side of that depression. Seaway not too bad - relatively flat as we're sailing into the back of an old high pressure system but last night it was horrendous, really violent sea, bouncing around everywhere and impossible to write or do anything down below..."

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