In past reports we have referred to Cheyenne competing for the Jules Verne Trophy. This is not correct because….

In order to challenge for the Trophy you have first to join the Association ‘Tour du monde en 80 jours’. This means paying a joining fee of 30,000 Euros and after that an annual subscription of 11,000 Euros. Steve Fossett refused saying while he was prepared to pay the same as the others challenging, the 30,000 was too much and so his record attempt is under the aegis of the World Speed Sailing Record Council instead, the international authority that ratifies sailing records. So you have the strange situation where Cheyenne might break the record but not win the Jules Verne and Geronimo (and later Orange II) might win the Jules Verne Trophy but not be the official holder of the record.

Meanwhile, out on the water, which is where it really matters, Olivier de Kersauson’s Cap Gemini et Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran continues her charge, although her last 24 hour run of 370 miles has dropped her back a bit on Orange’s 2002 position. She has since, though, picked up speed again and this morning, 12 February, was speeding along at 21 knots, her position 32 41N 21 54W.

Further south Cheyenne has finished her tactical move to the west and although she is 656 miles behind Orange’s virtual position, she too has picked up speed and was reporting 21 knots as well. Her position was 24 58N, 23 22W.

Watch leader Brian Thompson reports from on board, elaborating further on their close call with the rig yesterday.

‘ Guillermo was looking around the deck and asked Dave if it was normal to see so much of a 2 inch diameter pin sticking out of the cap shroud link plate. The answer was no, the pin was about to fall out! What had happened was that a small rope used to hold up the block to pull up the daggerboard had slid its way between the eye of the rigging terminal and the fork that it was attached to and gradually prised open the massive stainless steel fork, rather like ice opening up rock.

‘Fortunately we saw it and within the hour we had pulled the fork back together and with our 240v grinder Mike machined up a new solid pin to replace the split pin that had not managed to hold the fork together. It took a couple of gybes to unload to rigging on that side of the boat, and Jacques re-lead the rope holding up the block so it was not going to happen again.’

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Chart shows a comparison between Geronimo’s and Orange’s positions