Maiden II is now 28 miles behind Club Med’s transatlantic record. Fraser Brown reports from the Atlantic
Another day in the Atlantic has given hope and desperation but we are still just on the edge of this downwind record attempt sitting only 28 miles behind Club Med. We are negotiating clouds squalls and rain to try and pick our way through a mine field of light airs of 9 knots and trade winds of 15 with the odd puff of 18.
Dusk and Dawn consistently give us nail-biting conditions which is playing a huge role in the overall result for Maiden II. Around dusk we have a big decrease in pressure often reducing down to as much as only 8 knots and sending us up to 40 degrees off course, which is not good for dead downwind sailing. However, then dawn beaks giving us a good, solid 15-18 knots which allows us to get to within 10 degrees of course which is a welcoming sight on the B&G instruments.
Through the night we completed another four gybes where the deck lights come on and luminate the whole boat like a big floating tennis court. The standby watch springs into action to take part in their roles to successfully gybe this boat with little down speed and without breaking gear. The current watch prepare the boat, run the lazy sheet organise the mast area, engage appropriate winches then the standby watch take there place on the front trampoline to furl the big gennaker.
To furl this huge sail requires five people to run up and down inside the continuous furling line until the sail is furled and the boat can be swung through the gybe.
An interesting thing happened to Brian Thompson this morning when he visited the heads – he had a rather extended stay and, through constant knocking on the door, was eventually found by Helena. He was released after about five minutes and still trying to find the culprit who locked the door from the outside!
The Aussie contingent on board have a little Koala bear nicknamed Kev. Kev is a little bit of a wild card right now he is taped to the wind speed read out and gets a little good luck scratch every now and then. However, yesterday he was close to being drop kicked off the back of the boat.
Bye for now
Navigation Report Distance to finish end Day 9 715nm
Distance for finish for Club Med end Day 9 687nm
Miles behind Club Med 28nm
Average speed to finish 18.66kts
Average speed since start 14.68kts
Maiden Two position end Day 9 25 40N 61 44W
Club Med Position end Day 9 22 40N 62 20W
Hours since start 216hrs
Hours to finish 38.5hrs
Average daily run since start 352 miles
Current Speed 21kts
Current wind speed East 15-20kts
Current heading 310T