Tracy Edwards' 110-foot maxi-catamaran, Maiden II has been acknowledged as the fastest of the giant maxi cats at a presentation at the Yacht Club de France in Paris

Tracy Edwards’ 110-foot maxi-catamaran, Maiden II has been acknowledged as the fastest of the giant maxi cats following an official presentation to the crew at the Yacht Club de France in Paris.

Nine of the international crew of 13, including co skipper, Helena Darvelid travelled to Paris last Thursday night to be present at the ceremony hosted by the leading global IT and professional services company, EDS which was also celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Francis Meston, managing director of EDS France presented Helena and the crew with the official EDS 24 Hour Multihull World Speed Record. He said: “We’re delighted that the EDS Multihull trophy has been broken by such a great team as Maiden II. Your team work, perseverance, ability to identify and implement solutions, the mix between your human skills and onboard technology have all enabled you to succeed and you fit perfectly with the Extreme Performance spirit of our company. We are pleased to congratulate you as the new holders of the EDS 24-hour Multihull World Speed Record trophy!”

Looking jubilant to be holding the Trophy, Helena Darvelid commented on what a fantastic evening the crew was having: “It’s a great honour to be welcomed by the Yacht Club de France for the first time. So far we’ve been recognised in England and now we’re being congratulated and awarded in France, which means a lot to us, particularly in such a symbolic place as the Yacht Club de France. In addition we’re being treated like stars – the French know how to do it, lots of champagne!”

Next on the agenda for Maiden II is their attempt at the prestigious Jules Verne round-the-world record, scheduled for early next year. The record currently stands at 64 days, but if the weather conditions work in their favour, the crew could become the first people to ever sail around the world in under 60 days. “This is a realistic challenge provided we benefit from good weather,” explains crew member Anne Monmousseau. “We’ll certainly not be the only ones to attempt the record with Ellen MacArthur also in the starting blocks. It’s rather exciting though and will put us in the racing mood. We look forward to racing in real competitive conditions!”

EDS also sponsors the EDS 24-hour Monohull World Speed Record Trophy, which is currently held by John Kostecki and his crew who broke the record in leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race aboard illbruck Challenge with a run of 484 nautical miles. John Kostecki was awarded the EDS 24-hour Monohull World Speed Record Trophy by EDS at the Yacht Club de France on June 12th 2002.

Rachel Anning