At 0315 GMT this morning, Steve Fossett (USA) and his crew aboard Playstation made the all-important turn from upwind to downwind at the most northern point of the British Isles, Muckle Flugga.
After what Fossett described as a "long slow upwind"
, with the boats pace having slackened to around 11 knots yesterday after a torn headsail had to be repaired, the boat has now averaging around 25 knots downwind over the past hour.
Fossett, talking from the boat, explained the situation: : "Earlier this afternoon a 5 foot horizontal tear appeared in the Solent, our most important headsail. We are continuing to sail with the much smaller Staysail while Dave Scully is leading five of the crew hand sewing the repair. This is where you need a top-flight sailing crew - because making repairs is a key element in sailing distance records. Hope this repair succeeds because we are giving up about 3 knots of boat speed with the Staysail."
The wind has now picked up to around 27 knots and is powering Playstation towards St Kilda off the Hebrides, from where the boat will head south towards the west coast of Ireland.
At their current pace, they are approximately 1.3 hours ahead of the record pace set by Maiden II last month. They will need to cross the start/finish line off Ramsgate before 0843 GMT on Friday morning to reclaim the record, which Fossett originally set in 1994 and has only just been beaten.
Last Four Position Reports
||60 27.260 N
||03 48.120 W
||60 29.890 N
||03 06.710 W
||60 36.020 N
||02 28.330 W
||60 47.650 N
||01 53.240 W