Maiden smashes record
The crew: top row (from left) Kinny Parade, Mikaela von Koskull, Hannah Harwood, Brian Thompson, Anne Monmousseau, Stan Delbarre, Christine Haffi Paul Larsen, bottom row (from lefet) Sharon Ferris, Helena Darvelid, Sue Crafer, Greg Homann, Sam Davies and Frazer Brown.
At 06.52 BST Tracy Edward's maxi catamaran Maiden II crossed the finishing line off Ventnor in the Isle of Wight, smashing the Round Britain and Ireland record by 28 hours. Their time was 4 days 17 hours 3minutes and 23 secs.
The previous record 5 days 21 hours was set by Steve Fossett in 1994 on the 60ft trimaran Lakota.
Maiden II now holds three world records. Alongside the Round Britain and Ireland record, she has the Antigua to Newport record, and the 24 hr record taken from Steve Fossett on 13th June 2002 when they sailed 694 miles
The Round Britain and Ireland record is also great training for the Jules Verne, non-stop circumnavigation record to be attempted by Maiden II at the beginning of 2003.
The crew of 14 aboard Maiden II were ecstatic as they crossed the finish line and broke the Round Britain and Ireland record making it a British record once more.
Skipper Tracy Edwards MBE was not on board for the record as she is still negotiating sponsorship deals for the Jules Verne Trophy.
Edwards said this morning of her team's incredible achievement: "I am so proud of my team. They really are the greatest crew in the world! We have the fastest yacht, the best team and the best chance of breaking the Jules Verne record for Britain. This really is a fantastic achievement, to have beaten not only the record but also Geronimo the French trimaran which left from The Lizard an hour before us."
Maiden II was therefore skippered in her abscence by British Multihull sailor Brian Thompson. Brian, who was on Lakota with Steve Fossett and has therefore just broken his own record said "We are absoluetly delighted with this result. Not only have we been trying to beat the record but we have had the added pressure of racing against the French trimaran Geronimo. To have beaten them as well is just fantastic."