Then there were two
At present there is little information coming from either of the remaining boats. Maiden II started off the Isle of Wight yesterday lunchtime just after Geronimo had started off the Lizard, so Maiden II is further down the race track. Both are being cagey about giving out their positions, despite the fact that they started 300km apart, that the tactical options when sailing around an island are fairly limited and that the two boats relative performance is more likely to be dictated by gear failure than by tactical advantage.
Early this morning Brian Thompson, skipper on Maiden IIfor the trip, reported that they'd had good wind all yesterday afternoon but then the wind died completely and they were becalmed for seven hours. During the night they had to replace a broken batten in the mainsail - no mean feat when the mainsail is 350sqm in size.
Late this morning Thompson sent another report saying that the wind had filled in and they were back up to speed. They were expecting the wind to go soft again approaching the Shetlands, but that they were still expecting a fast run down from Muckle Flugga to St Kilda and then on down past the west of Ireland.
"It is great for us to get out into open waters again, and this course is perfect training for our Jules Verne attempt in January. In the last 24 hours we have had every sail up save the storm spinnaker and the storm jib."
We hope to have relative positions for the two boats later this afternoon.