Perfect conditions for Maiden II

Maxi-cat flying in "perfect conditions"

Sunday April 14th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Maiden II - stats 14 April 2002

Daily run: 358.7 miles
Position: 25 20N 22 15W at 1112
Club Med position end Day 3: 27 40N 23 30W

Distance to finish:2847nm
Average speed to finish required to break record: 15.6knots
Average speed for Maiden II since start 15.18knots
Maiden II has 182.5 hours to get to finish line.

SOG 20-22knots
COG 260degT
TWS 20kts
TWD 030degT
TWA 130deg

It's now midday at the start of the fourth day and we are charging along in near perfect conditions. For the first time since the start we have not had to do a sail change for our entire watch. The numbers have been consistently high and on course.

'Game's on and it's all to play for,' announced Brian Thompson with a big grin across his face. You work hard on these boats dreaming of these conditions. The sailing is fast, dry and easy and we are all dressing for the beach.

The sails all stacked aft and to windward make for a comfortable bench seat from which to trim from. You still must not get complacent. The helmsman, whoops, helmsperson, is the one doing all the work but is reluctant to hand over the hotseat.

Guillemo Altadill during his helm change briefing with Helena Darvelid while steaming along at 26 knots simply said 'perfect' and walked below. We laughed at how cool this exchange was but soon realised he had summed it up beautifully.

Mind you, it goes against my policy of saying few words when many will do! The night was not without incident as the new breeze filled in a highly loaded block controlling the gennaker sheet exploded while Fraser Brown was down to leeward checking trim. Fortunately we had a safety sheet rigged which saved the gennaker from a flogging, Fraser's head from a one throw game of frisbee and allowed us to get back on the gas in short time. The blocks dismembered parts were later found spread all over the boat.

We took advantage of the new headed breeze to sail lower on the course into the southwest as this we hope will pay dividends later in the lighter winds expected for the upcoming night. The breeze has since moved aft and as a result we are quickly getting back to the required average for a successful attempt. We are currently sailing in 20 knots of northeast wind which may lighten and go further into the E/NE at about 10 to 15 knots.

We are sailing in traditional tradewind conditions taking the old fashioned southern route around the bottom of the high pressure system.

Signing off Paul Larsen helped by Fraser and Adrienne.

Front to back - Christine Haffa, Emma Richards and navigator Adrienne Cahalan furl the gennaker

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