Brian Thompson, Captain aboard Doha 2006 competing in the Oryx Quest Cup sent this report to this morning

The trade winds have kicked in and Doha 2006 has taken off and opened up respectable lead over Geronimo for the first time since the Oryx Quest Cup started four days ago. All the boats are free from the clutches of the high pressure system that provided frustrating sailing over the last 48 hours. As expected Geronimo and Doha 2006, being first into the new breeze, have increased their lead over Cheyenne and Daedalus.

At daybreak this morning Doha 2006 led Geronimo by 24 miles with Cheyenne a further 225 miles astern. It’s welcome news on board the Qatar boat, but the crew are under no illusion that they have shaken de Kersauson and his team.

Brian Thompson Captain aboard the Gilles Ollier-designed Maxicat, Doha 2006 sent this report this morning:

“We have just completed four days of the Oryx Quest. So far it has been fantastic racing. Yesterday all day and most of the morning we have been locked into place with Geronimo. Yesterday drifting upwind with a Code 0 at 3 knots and today blast reaching at 30 knots the boat speeds have been identical. The cat/tri argument has only just begun. With her canting rig Geronimo is faster than she has ever been, as we are with our new sails and weight saving programme.

“We have hardly lost sight of her since the start, and at the park up behind the mountains of Oman we could see all 4 boats at once. Now it is Geronimo and us heading towards the Maldives at 25 knots, with Daedalus not far behind, and Cheyenne taking a different route to the east and much closer to India.

“The team is gelling together, and our sail changes and communication are getting better day by day. We started with two hours sailing under our belts and we will have to become a well-oiled machine before we hit the Southern Ocean where there is no time or forgiveness for any mistakes. The sailing has been fantastic so far; it’s great to be starting from Qatar and not the windy wilds of the English Channel in Feburary.

“All the best, Brian –”