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26 March 2004, 04:36 pm
Cheyenne Back In The Trades
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© Fossett Challenges

WSSRC Round the World Record

A steady day's run of 244 nm tacking upwind (avg 10.16 kts) Thursday has taken Steve Fossett and his Round the World Sailing record attempt crew aboard the 125' maxi-cat Cheyenne to the southern hemisphere tropical tradewinds - finally.
At 0510 this morning (location 18 00S, 32 17W) they were making 20.4 kts in a 15 kt Easterly breeze after 3 slow days in the light airs off Rio de Janeiro.

Their lead over the 2002 RTW record pace of Orange I is now back to 1032 miles (2-1/2 days). Several days of good running North are now expected until the ITCZ (inter tropical convergence zone) - also known as the doldrums - is reached, with the milestone of Equator still hoped for on Sunday.

Brian THOMPSON (GBR) reports from the boat:

"Tonight at midnight, as we handed over the watch, the trade winds started to blow across our bows, and Cheyenne started to slice through the water again. Speed crept above 12 knots, and as we slept the wind continued to fill. Now it is 6am and there is 14 knots of breeze, pushing us forwards at 21 knots.

We have had 3 days of very light and fluky breezes and it is great to be on the move again, now 1070 miles from the equator.

In 2 hours at 8am I will be on watch again and am looking forward to the sensation of speed, the wind across the deck, the hull just starting to lift and a steadily building wind. We should see 20 knots by the end of the day and that should create almost perfect conditions for us.

We have had several e-mails about the planetary alignment that is happening now and for the next couple of weeks. We are going to be looking out for it tomorrow. Tonight was too cloudy unfortunately.

The navigation department is already looking towards the passage up the North Atlantic and particularly on the 2nd half of the trip into the finish. The forecasts are very long range so are sending us mixed messages; we could be very fast or very slow. I am sure this story will run and run in the days to come.

We have seen very few birds the last few days, and just a solitary Atlantic petrel yesterday. In and out of the water lots of flying fish are darting around, but we have not seen any fish or dolphins.

More later on,

Fossett Challenges (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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