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12 April 2002, 04:27 pm
Cadiz to Casablanca Morocco
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News From Maiden II

The end of the first 24hr period sees us thundering along at 25-30kts on what has been as eventful start for the mighty blue boat to re-establish the record she broke 2 years ago.

The crew consists of 16 people from 7 nationalities from extensive and various sailing backgrounds. Joining us for the attempt is Guillermo Altadill who was a crew member for the boat when it broke the record as Club Med. He brings with him a wealth of experience for this particular boat and is teaching us a few tricks that they learnt around the world which is certainly speeding things up for us. He also has some rather curious sleeping habits. He was found in his bunk last watch with all the EPIRBS stacked around the outside of his bunk. At first we took it as an insult to the faith he placed in us but he assures us that it was only to accentuate the contours of his bunk for better sleeping angles......

The alarm has just gone off signalling the end of the 24hr period since the start and that lunch is served, prepared by our gourmet chef imported from France Christine Haffi. Each watch takes a turn to work their magic on the freeze dried cuisine. We are in position 31 26N 11 48W which is an average of 17.25 kts over the course, about 2kts ahead of the record. We will hit a slow patch this afternoon when the wind stays in the NW but drops to possibly 8-10kts.Our ETA at the Canaries which is about 286nm away is early tomorrow morning when we should have better wind speed of 17-20kts. Once we pass through the Canaries we will be on our way to San Salvador on a course of 270. The crew 'events' so far have consisted of 'wham bam thank you Stan' Delbarre copping a flying block right on the nose requiring a quick bit of panel beating by our average and very tired onboard nurse Helena Darvelid. All the boy's dreams about having a Swedish nurse on board for a long offshore stint have been fulfilled.

Paul's 'inability to tell a short story' Larsen finally took a breath to use the obvious advantages of a catamaran to straddle a palette between the hulls, which we suspect may have similarly been the cause of breaking our centreboard on the delivery to Villamoura at the beginning of the week. Our navigator Adrienne found something more uplifting than coffee when she slugged down some concentrated dishwashing liquid and was later sent to Nurse Helena who hooked her up to the bilge pump for a stomach empty. Kev the fluffy Koala (brought on board by one of the Aussie boys) is resting up in the lower shrouds and easing into his first day back at sea. Easing may be a kind word as a small pile of eucalyptus spew and gum nuts at the base of the shroud suggest Kev is having anything but an easy first day. Team fitness assessor and coach Pat Fox may have something to say about Kev's diet. Signing from the crew onboard Maiden 2.
Maiden II Press/News Editor
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