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11 February 2003, 02:46 pm
Kingfisher Still Slow
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Jules Verne Trophy
Round the World

Despite A Slow Night, Kingfisher2's 24-hour run of 266 miles was a few miles more than Orange achieved on day 12 of their record bid.
Weather Is All That Matters To Ellen and team on KINGFISHER2, and its not being very cooperative. The overall weather pattern is dominated by several high pressure systems across the South Atlantic - high pressure generally means very light winds, not what is needed to break records.

The wind forecast over the next couple of days indicates nothing more than 3 to 10 knots...bad news for the team, however during the night they have been sailing at over 12 knots for much of the time, so lets hope that forecast is wrong!


An unbelievable day once again, another painful day where our speed was so low that I'm not even sure I want do the calculation. This afternoon we had no wind for about 6 hours - with a boat speed of 3 to four knots. Frustration has been the word of the day, and I know will be the word for the next few days too. We are just dying to get into some breeze and to feel KINGFISHER2 take off beneath us. Seeing her just sitting in the water has been quite unnatural for her. Since Plymouth she has not been so still - in fact, I think we were sailing around more on our mooring there than we were yesterday in the light winds. I guess at the end of the day we can see the light at the end of the tunnel - and also we can try to focus on doing all we do better - so that everyone pulls together more and concentrates on what is coming.

We are still learning all the time, me especially, and we are having more discussions together now, where we are able to discuss our thoughts and changes. As I sit here and type it is 5.30 in the morning. The moon set about an hour or so ago, after lighting up the horizon like it was the only path to take in the world. There was the odd star around but soon after, all was blanketed with a layer of grey cloud... But it was not such a negative thing because that's the sea. The air warmed - the wind increased and we took off. A real change from sailing slowly in 12 knots, to helming a flying machine. I was driving as the wind increased - all of a sudden with the new wind we were at 26 knots! The power is awesome - so much faster than the wind we had. Must go now as very tired and lacking sleep! We'll be heading south on the next low we can catch, then I'll need that sleep.


Vital Statistics

Ahead/Behind the record: 12 hours 40 minutes behind Orange
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 52 hours 12 minutes behind Geronimo
DAY 12 24 hour run (point to point) : Kingfisher2 266nm, Orange 252nm, Geronimo 459nm
End DAY 12 distance to go (on theoretical course) : KF2 20496nm, Orange 20294nm, Geronimo 19661nm
Click on POSITIONS link at to see graphic images comparing the tracks of these 3 challengers at 4 hourly intervals.

Av/Max boat speed in last hour: 12.61 / 16.8 knots Heading: 245
Av/Max wind speed in last hour: 8.84 / 12.5 knots Wind direction: 125
Distance to WP4 35 00'S / 24 00'W approach to Southern Ocean : 948 nm (theorectical shortest distance)
Kingfisher Media/ISAF News Editor
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