Steve Fossett's maxi cat's wayward forestay has been reconnected and is back on track for her attempt at the world speed record
After a day of extraordinary tension and teamwork yesterday, Skipper Steve Fossett reported late yesterday afternoon that the giant catamaran’s wayward forestay, displaced during the previous night, had finally been reconnected. And Cheyenne and her team of 13 were once again sailing at speed and on course in their attempt at Bruno Peyron’s two-year-old Round the World Sailing Record of 64 days 8 hours 37 minutes.
At 1710 GMT yesterday evening Cheyenne and crew were travelling east-south-easterly at 21.8 kts in a 23kt westerly breeze. Before the morning’s drama, Cheyenne was over 500 nautical miles ahead of the 2002 record track of Orange. Even during the 16 hour repair process, excellent downwind progress along the course was made, the big cat covering 196 nm over the past 12 hours, and 446 miles over the past 24 hrs – at an avgerage speed of 18.6 kts.
Steve Fossett described the repair undertaken: “The crew of Cheyenne has reconnected the forestay. Cheyenne has gybed to the south-west and is continuing its attempt to break the Round the World Sailing Record.
“The forestay cable, which supports the mast, pulled out of its end fitting. None of us on board has ever seen this fitting fail before. The repair process took over 16 hours and was accomplished using hand tools – where this type of work is usually done in a rigging shop with specialized heavy equipment.
“This is defining of the most professional distance sailors. They can fix things at sea where normally we would have to retire to the nearest port. Despite meticulous preparation, these high performance multihulls cannot be expected to make it Round the World without mandatory repairs at sea.”
Latest positions this morning show despite their slight mishap, Cheyenne and her crew are still approximately 430/450 nm ahead of the 2002 RTW record position of Bruno Peyron’s Orange after 17 days. They lost 60-80 nm Monday while making repairs.