Dodging a high pressure system has resulted in lost time but conditions for Steve Fossett and crew on their round the world record attempt should improve today

Steve Fossett and crew aboard Cheyenne spent yesterday picking their way through the ridge of high pressure blocking their path north, 748nm east of Comodoro Rivadavia, Patagonia, Argentina. Although boat speed was between 7-10 kts throughout the day, the alternatively north-west, north-east and back to north-west course has meant they only logged a net of 62 nm since 0510 yesterday morning. But much better conditions appear to lie ahead.

George Caras of Commanders Weather reported: “The next 6-10 hours will be slow as they ride out the high, but the cold front approaching will bring increasing winds from the north-west between 00z – 0100z, then backing to the west and south-west and increasing to 15-20 kts through Sunday on a good angle, letting them accelerate on a north-easterly course again. Monday should see these same winds increasing further to 20-30 kts.”

The lead over Orange’s 2002 RTW has dropped to approx 830 miles – still two days, with Cheyenne’s crew well aware of their ‘phantom’ rival racing north as they continue the hard work to breach the ridge.

Brian Thompson had this to say yesterday morning: “It feels like Bruno and his team, including my friend Nick Moloney, are breathing down our necks, charging along at 500 mile a day pace as we tack on the faintest zephyrs here at 46 south. Of course they passed here two years ago but their phantom remains, here on our computer screens with their track, and with the vivid stories that Nick told of their trip.”