With their Jules Verne Dream in tatters, and currently making for Fremantle in Western Australia, Ellen MacArthur and the crew on Kingfisher2, have expressed thanks for the support they have received.
KINGFISHER2 are sailing north above the 50th parallel now positioned at 49 35'S and 80 31'E having sailed approximately 220 miles in the last 24 hours.
The crew are keeping to their on-watch system but without the support of a standby watch that is required when in full race mode. Ellen continues to monitor the weather with shore-based weather router Meeno Schrader to plot their course to SW Australia.
FROM ELLEN 0233 GMT 26.2.02 : THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Writing in the nav station of KINGFISHER2 - I still feel completely gutted and empty even thinking of where we are right now. Our objective has gone, our focus has gone and our Jules Verne is well and truly over. I have been bowled over by the spirit with which so many people have dealt with our problems. So many emails, so much positive energy flowing through to us on KINGFISHER2, still deep in the Southern Ocean.
It would have been hard to pick a place much further from a major port to lose our mast - and what seems like a blessing and a punishment is the time it will take us to make our way to Australia. Time to come to terms with all that has happened, but also a long time to think of what has been. It really has to be said that we are thankful for everyone's energy that has gone into this project, from Kingfisher Plc giving us the chance to try for this record, and to the hundreds and thousands of you who have sent both your encouragement when things were going to plan, as well as your encouragement when things have not. In so many ways it's the encouragement that people have shown when things are not going so well, that makes the difference. I suppose like cheering for your football team even though they've just had a bad result. It's a hard realisation that things go wrong - but a very real realisation. Life is without purpose, right now. However, we go on though. There are new challenges out there, many of which I am sure I have never even dreamt about yet - many I am sure not even related to sailing.
So here's to getting to Australia - here's to the next challenges, I hope you'll be able to live those with us too... whatever that may be.
Thanks a million,
SUMMARY: 1000 GMT 26.2.03 (position taken at 0832 GMT)
Position: 49 35'S 80 31'E
Boat speed: 7.2 knots
Distance to Fremantle SW Australia: approx 1885 nm
8 OUT OF 12 JULES VERNE ATTEMPTS HAVE FAILED.
JULES VERNE RECORD TIMES:
2002 Orange (Peyron) 64 days 8 hours 37 minutes 24 seconds
1997 Sport Elec (de Kersauson) 71 days 14 hours 22 minutes 8 seconds
1994 ENZA (Blake/Knox-Johnston) 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds
1993 Commodore Explorer (Peyron) 79 days 6 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds
JULES VERNE UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS:
2003 KINGFISHER2 (MacArthur)
2002 GERONIMO (de Kersauson)
2002 Orange (Peyron) a few weeks later Peyron re-started and set a new record
1998 Royal Sun Alliance (Edwards)
1996 Sport Elec (de Kersauson)
1994 Lyonaisse des Eaux (de Kersauson)
1993 Charal (de Kersauson)
1993 ENZA (Blake/Knox-Johnston)