Steve Fossett and crew spent the last 24 hours negotiating a tricky wind system but they are still 893nm ahead of Orange I's record

After spending most of the 46th day of their round the world speed record attempt heading slowly east traversing the low off the coast of Brazil, Steve Fossett and crew aboard the 125ft catamaran Cheyenne have gradually started heading north-east again. During the 24-hour period they covered 234 miles (averaging 9.75 kts) and their lead over the 2002 RTW record pace of Orange I is now 893 miles.

The target remains Bruno Peyron’s 2002 official Round The World Sailing record of 64 days 8 hrs, 37 mins, 24 secs. To break the record Cheyenne must arrive at the official WSSRC start-finish line (a line between the French island of Ushant running north to The Lizard in Cornwall) by Sunday afternoon, 11 April.

That is, of course, 18 days and 4,700nm distance – or a required average hourly speed of less than 11kts. But that is also measured on a straight line – and a large high pressure area in the North Atlantic will probably see Fossett’s team pushing well north before driving across the North Atlantic back to the line – for a greater remaining distance and higher average speed.