Having made almost 200 miles additional westward progress during the day yesterday (Wednesday), Cheyenne turned South again onto the more direct course late in the afternoon and began to reel off the miles through the night.
By this morning's report at 05.10 GMT Cheyenne had nearly reached the Tropic of Cancer at the end of 5 full days.
The tactical positioning westward has cost them additional time to the record track of Orange 2002 - they are now 656 miles (about 1-1/2 days) behind that track - but are now moving just West of South at over 21 kts.
The chase continues!
A potential major breakage was averted yesterday morning when, during the rig check at first light, Guillermo ALTADILL discovered that the pin connecting the cap shroud had worked half way out.
Watch Captain David SCULLY filed this report on the incident - and on a few other timely topics:
"The sun rose on the sparkling sea this morning, to reveal that our rig was about to fall down. Guillermo ALTADILL, walking forward after his trick on the helm, happened to look up, and noticed that the large pin securing a link plate in the shrouds, had wandered part of the way out of it's mounting. Pausing briefly for a few Hail Mary's, we jibed, took a hammer to it, and restored our rigging to it's normal integrity. At some time, probably during our fifty knot upwind slog to the start, the split pin securing the big rigging pin in place had sheared, and the big pin had been slowly leaving the boat ever since. Had we jibed and unloaded the pin, our return jibe might have been made memorable by the graceful descent of the rig and sailplan. Thanks to the sharp eyed Catalan, we are not, at this writing, paddling to the Canaries.
Sailing today is pleasant, but not very fast. We are sailing downwind angles, jibing on shifts. The wind has picked up some this morning, but the pace is still a bit docile. Adrienne assures that we are sailing into more wind, and we hope she is right. No accurate position fix on OdK. We expect that he is totally becalmed somewhere around Madeira, wishing he had taken up accountancy in his youth, rather than sailing."
A pleased Steve FOSSETT commented:
"This is where experienced crew pays off: the pin problem was concealed by black taping and was recognized only by a bulge in the tape. The crew set about securing the cap shroud pin so the problem does not recur"