This forecast, if it holds, is essential to the progress of Steve Fossett and his fourteen-person crew if they are to reach the start/finish line off Ramsgate by 0842 GMT tomorrow morning. They struggled throughout the night with boat speeds dropping to less than 1 knot for a period of time, turning what was a comfortable cushion over Maiden II's record, into what was an hour ago nearly a 2-hour deficit.
Getting across the Celtic sea proved to be a bit of a problem, combined with the dramatic drop in wind speed, a series of other problems also struck the boat which although quickly overcome, could prove the difference between a new record, and missing out. Steve commented on the problems, "About the time we started worrying about the loss of wind, a succession of minor problems arose. The genniker sheet broke, we snagged some commercial fishing gear - and even the Head broke! The crew easily fixed all these problems, although the fishing lines we were unable to cut away have now jammed our starboard daggerboard in the up position - but this is not of concern"
The whole crew and boat are now reported to be in good spirits and sailing well. Although currently struggling to round Bishop's Rock on the Southwest corner of the British Isles, Playstation's boat speed has increased to 18.5 knots in the past hour with the true wind veering and increasing as predicted. They now need to average 17.17 knots over the final 360 miles to set a new record.
It will be close
Position Data Since 0000 GMT, 24/10/2002
|11.38z||49 56.730 N||06 55.600 W||166||18.5||17||168||53|
|10.38z||50 00.760 N||07 19.480 W||99||15.9||15||149||51|
|09.38z||no data||no data||no data||no data||no data||no data||no data|
|08.38z||50 15.410 N||07 37.400 W||112||14.2||17||137||25|
|07.38z||50 12.120 N||07 59.660 W||75||16.1||15||136||50|
|06.38z||50 06.900 N||08 21.930 W||87||14.9||14||136||48|
|05.38z||50 03.450 N||08 41.780 W||84||13.8||13||133||49|
|04.38z||49 59.770 N||09 02.800 W||77||13.7||14||125||47|
|03.38z||49 52.000 N||09 21.290 W||76||15.6||14||124||48|
|02.38z||49 52.770 N||09 34.670 W||167||12.1||14||109||58|
|01.38z||50 02.570 N||09 39.180 W||163||12||13||106||57|
|00.38z||50 13.060 N||09 44.090 W||168||9.9||12||112||56|
TWA: True Wind Angle; TWD: True Wind Direction; TWS: True Wind Speed