Kingfisher2 reaches Freo

Future uncertain for big cat

Saturday March 8th 2003, Author: Offshore Challenges, Location: Australasia
Kingfisher2 arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia today at 1055GMT (1855 local time) 13 days since her dismasting. Under tow for the last three hours of the trip, Kingfisher2's bows turned round the breakwater into Fremantle harbour as the sun set...drawing to a close the final chapter on their Jules Verne.

"Despite the obvious problem, this has been a great experience," commented Ellen, "and I'd like to thank my sponsors, Kingfisher, B&Q and Castorama, for their support and commitment during this very tough time - I was extremely proud to be sailing under their colours. But as usual I have learnt a great deal - about myself, about the guys in the team who have been fantastic even during the hardest moments, and as ever about the sea and how these giant boats interact with them. We have no regrets, we had a pretty good go at this record, but of course the disappointment that we didn't succeed is still there...this time...

"It is sad to see Kingfisher2 injured in this way, but when you push to the limits in a record attempt such as the Jules Verne, I guess you have to accept that, despite excellent preparation, and the best team I could imagine, it doesn't always go your way. We are in good company with the other 8 failed attempts on this record..."

Kingfisher2 will be given a thorough inspection and a decision about where she will be shipped to will be made in the next few weeks. In the meantime, the 110ft catamaran will be berthed at Fremantle Saiing Club Marina. "As part of the Team Kingfisher project, this Jules Verne was always planned as a one-shot attempt," commented Project Director Mark Turner, "but of course we hope the huge amount of work that has gone in to optimising the big cat will not be wasted, and that she can continue to be campaigned..."

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