The line of longitude has important significance to Amundsen Oslo, the Norway-based company that was founded in 2002 by Jørgen AMUNDSEN, a relative of the legendary polar explorer, Roald AMUNDSEN. 163° West longitude was the route taken by AMUNDSEN on his trip to the South Pole in 1911. The trophy will be awarded to Brian THOMPSON (GBR) and his crew when they arrive back in Doha.
More Good Tidings
There was other good news aboard the Qatari catamaran. At the 07:00 GMT poll on Tuesday Doha 2006 had further extended their lead over Cheyenne to over 1000 miles and was recording instant speeds well in excess of those on their rival: 26.2 knots against 14.3 knots on Cheyenne, as both boats enjoyed perfect sailing in the deep south.
Skipper THOMPSON was revelling in the good news. 'Today we notched up our second 600 mile day,' he writes in his daily log. 'That's over 25 knots average for 24 hours, and we have had a 25 knot wind from the northwest allowing us to track due eastward. At the moment we are starting to get more westerly winds which will force us to gybe downwind over the next day or so. This will reduce our speed made good to Cape Horn, but will allow us to change our latitude easily and move from north to south over the course to position ourselves for the next wind direction. Behind us Cheyenne has now escaped the low and also reached the northwest winds. She is charging eastwards and over the next few days Cheyenne is going to be taking some miles back as she sails a more direct course.'
Aboard Cheyenne navigator Wouter VERBRAAK (NED) was also enjoying the sailing. 'Some days are just perfect,' he wrote in his log. 'Today was such a day. Steady 23 to 26 knots of boat speed and at least seven albatrosses doing their stunts around the boat... Looking ahead for the next 24 hours, we will be close to the centre of a large and rather strong low which is moving southeast. This will give us some good winds for the next few days to propel us towards the Horn.'
One of the toughest stretches of the race lies ahead; the remote south Pacific, an undulating stretch of water that ends at Cape Horn, currently 2,616 miles ahead of Doha 2006's razor sharp bows.