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15 March 2004, 02:17 pm
Cheyenne Makes Repairs - Back On Track 800 From Cape Horn
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WSSRC Round The World Record
Round The World

It was expected that the difficult repair to the damaged mainsail track 120' up the mast would have to wait for the shelter of the Falklands later in the week.
But the thought of several more days' slow sailing, then to lose even more time while stopped was too frustrating after all the efforts of the past 5 weeks, and a full day's running repairs were begun Sunday morning to attempt a repair which would save the hard-fought lead over Orange's 2002 RTW record pace.

Cheyenne's 346 mile run Sunday (avg 14.4 kts) meant their lead over Orange's RTW record track only fell to 1830 miles by Monday morning - with Steve Fossett and team now back up to 18-20 kts boatspeed.

Steve FOSSETT reported late last night (at 2359 GMT) on the Sunday repair:

"I can't believe these guys fixed the mast. With a "Do it now" attitude, the Cheyenne crew mobilized on Sunday morning to make the necessary repairs. As reported earlier, a section of mainsail track on the mast ripped off early Saturday morning. The initial repair plan was to anchor in a protected bay in the Falkland Islands to attempt the repairs. The suspense of not knowing if it was repairable was too great - and the crew attacked the problem at sea 3 days from Cape Horn".

Justin Slattery and Dave Scully were up the mast for over 6 hours during the day. The first challenge was to remove the 13 screws which had sheared off. This required drilling and use of Easy Out tools. Then a similar section was removed from the the Third Reef location and fitted to the more important First Reef point. All this while suspended from the Man Halyard of the swinging mast. Meanwhile Mike Beasley fabricated replacement Third Reef track out of damaged and miscellaneous spares. Mike and Damian Foxall went up the mast to install the replacement".

Without a successful fix, Cheyenne was limited to raising the mainsail only to the Second Reef, a restriction which would have made it impossible to sail fast enough to break the record of Orange. Sure, we lost a lot of time on this whole episode, but now we are again in the hunt for the record. - Steve."
Fossett Challenges (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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