Maiden II is preparing for a midday start today in attempt to break the 24-hour distance record

Maiden II is preparing for a midday start today in attempt to break the 24-hour distance record. Tracy Edwards’ crew are determined to beat the record of 687.17 nautical miles that is currently held by Steve Fossett on board PlayStation, thereby wresting back the title of ‘worlds fastest ocean racing yacht’ that was formerly held by Grant Dalton when Maiden II was named Club Med.

Last night the 110 ft maxi-catamaran left Newport, to sail and sailed approximately 250 nautical miles south-south-east to a point identified by navigator Adrienne Cahalan as the possible starting point for the record. There the team hope to pick up a weather system that will help them maintain an average speed in excess of the 28.63 knot target speed for 24 hours.

Sailing Director Tracy Edwards has no illusion that the record will be tough to beat. “Steve Fossett has set a tough target to beat and effectively become the fastest yacht in the world. In addition to having the perfect wind angle and strength, you need to have a relatively flat sea. “If we get these conditions, then we have the crew that can take advantage of them and break the record.

“Since we put the campaign together, the team has come within a few hours of breaking the transatlantic record and has set a tough new record time for the Antigua to Newport run. If we were to break the 24-hour run, that would put us ahead of our expectations for this stage of the programme.”

After attempting the record, the crew cross the Atlantic on a training run, returning to the new UK base in Ocean Village, Southampton.

The crew

Brian Thompson GBR – Watch Captain

Adrienne Cahalan AUS – Navigator

Helena Darvelid SWE – Watch Captain

Rodney Keenan NZL

Paul Larsen AUS

Sam Davies GBR

Sharon Ferris NZL

Fraser Brown NZL

Greg Homann AUS

Anne Monmousseau FRA

Christine Haffi FRA

Ben Wood GBR

Stan Delbarre FRA

Lanee Butler USA

Maiden II will be skippered by the rearguard, which consists of Brian Thompson, Adrienne Cahalan and Helena Darvelid.