Maiden II rips up the Atlantic

Tracy Edwards' monster catamaran has set out on her Antigua to Newport record run

Saturday May 11th 2002, Author: Mark Bullingham, Location: Transoceanic

Navigation Report at 1030GMT 11 May

Position 21deg 40N 063 deg 35W
Start position 17 deg 00N 061 deg 46W
Miles sailed since start at 2100GMT: approximately 300nm at 340degT
Average speed: 22.22knots
Distance to finish: 1248nm
Wind: 090T at 20knots
Course: 340T at 20-23knots boat speed

Note: Maiden II's official start time for the Antigua to Newport record attempt is 20 58 17 UTC on 10th May 2002.

Navigator's Report from Adrienne Cahalan

Our strategy has not altered from our overall plan yesterday. Having just spoken with Ken Campbell at Commanders Weather who are our onshore routers
and strategists, we are still setting ourselves up to negotiate the light wind area around 28-30N associated with the high. We are currently sailing rhumbline-straight at the mark in tradewinds which we expect will slowly decrease in wind speed as we get further north toward Bermuda. Last night we
had some very fast rides at times averaging between 27-30kts for several hours.

Report from Paul Larsen and Helena Darvelid

As dawn breaks across the decks of Maiden II 12 1/2 hours into her Antigua to Newport record attempt we decided to go to full reaching power with the
mainsail being hoisted to the top and the replacement of the staysail for a bigger headsail. The wind has been gradually dropping but this sail combination allows us to continue our headlong dash north at a fantastic rate.

The night has been good to us and we have managed an average speed somewhere in the mid twenties and bang on course. I've been assured by those 'copping it' on decks in the last watch that the water temperature has also been gradually easing! The boat is revelling in the conditions but the steering has been a little weird as we made an adjustment to the angle of the rudders whilst in Antigua.

When we first launched the boat in La Ciotat we used the good old Mk 1 eyeball to line them up and they worked just fine all the way across the Atlantic. In Antigua we lined the trailing edges up with 'indents' that are supposed to indicate the centre line of the hulls and now..... well now it just feels weird and the boat occasionally dives off course and requires a fair amount of input from the helm. Never mind, onwards and upwards we go. On a more day to day basis, all the forks have apparently managed to extend their stay in Antigua and whilst all the girls are wearing the scrimshaw necklace of Maiden II as given by Ben Wood, the guys have chosen to forgo their sarongs for Henri Lloyd foulies. It may still be warm enough for a sarong, but not that warm........ and I'd hate to get one caught in a winch during a big ease. Rightio, time to fly.....

Details on the Antigua to Newport Record

Start Line - Cape Shirley Lighthouse, Antigua (Buoy at Bishop Reef, Falmouth Bay)
Finish Line - Castle Hill Lighthouse, Newport

Tracy Edwards on the Antigua to Newport Record

The Route of Discovery record proved that we have the right boat for the job and the core of a great team. The six Royal & SunAlliance girls on the boat are a strong nucleus around which we are building an awesome team. We have eight great guys and two fantastic female new comers on the boat at the moment who are sailing with us whilst the women for whom we are waiting, are completing Volvo and other commitments. While out in Antigua to go sailing on Maiden II, it was impossible not to notice the fantastic team spirit on board and also on shore. All the ingredients are coming into place for a great Challenge on the Jules Verne.

The new record of 64 days set by Bruno Peyron has only acted to spur the team on and their confidence is truly impressive. While in Antigua the crew treated me to a spin around the island and even managed to look quite nonchalant when the 'big lady' picked up her skirts and hooned off at 35.4 knots. Truly exhilarating. For me, it made the past year of blood, sweat and tears so worth it. Now as the crew stand by to start the inaugural Antigua to Newport record, I know that the crew have a high average speed in mind for the 1,560 mile trip. The aim being of course to create a record that will be tough to beat.

While in Newport the rear guard, Adrienne Cahalan, Helena Darvelid, Mikaela Von Koskull and Brian Thompson have decided to concentrate on the 24 hour
record before returning home. We feel we are ahead of the game in training terms and cannot wait to get going for the Jules Verne.

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