The Maiden II team is preparing for their first major challenge.
If the current weather pattern holds out, then at midday tomorrow, UK time, the 110ft maxi-catamaran will leave Cadiz for San Salvador - following the legendary route of discovery. Although the transatlantic voyage is currently classified as for training purposes, if circumstances allow then the team will attempt to break the 3884 nautical mile record.
The record is already held by the maxi-catamaran, with Grant Dalton's Club Med recording a time of 10days 14hours 53 minutes and 44seconds in June 2000, with an average speed of 15.23 knots. Since then, Maiden II has had little or no modification and is currently hampered by a broken daggerboard after hitting a submerged voyage on the delivery route from Marseille. The crew has turned the daggerboard upside down so that the broken element is above the water and will carry out repairs in San Salvador.
Maiden II will leave the training base in the Vilamoura Marina at midnight tonight, to arrive in Cadiz mid-morning tomorrow. As Skipper Tracy Edwards is currently involved in sponsor negotiations, the mixed crew will be jointly skippered by Adrienne Cahalan and Helena Darvelid. Edwards commented: "This is a difficult record, as you have to have near perfect wind conditions. We're taking the view that the crossing is for training, but if we get the wind conditions we need then we'll go for it."
The crew is packed with experienced multihull and ocean racers:
Adrienne Cahalan Skipper/Navigator AUS
Helena Darvelid Skipper SWE/GBR
Mikaela Von Koskull Watch Captain FIN
Emma Richards Helm GBR
Sam Davies Rigger GBR
Sharon Ferris Sailmaker NZL
Christine Haffi Crew FRA
Anne Monmaseau Crew FRA
Brian Thompson Watch Captain GBR
Regis Brule Crew FRA
Stan Delbarre Crew FRA
Ben Wood Helm GBR
Paul Larsen Helm AUS
Greg Homann Crew AUS
Fraser Brown Crew NZL
Guillermo Altadill Helm ESP