With her second 500+ mile day, Kingfisher2 has caught up on the Jules Verne Record set by Orange, but still remains unlikely to beat Geronimo's time to the equator.
Perfect trade winds have seen them close on the equator at a fantastic pace, with the next and almost immediate challenge to be how to cross first of all the doldrums, and then how to deal with the South Atlantic High which is barring their entrance to the Southern Ocean. They are currently looking to cross the doldrums at about 27 degrees west, where the system looks at it's most stable.
Talking about how to deal with the South Atlantic High, "We expect to have to sail more than a 1000 extra miles, we'll be seeing the eyes of the Brazilians I fear,"
MacArthur admitted this morning its going to be a slow passage south.
Technical problems were encountered when a pin on the Starboard steering system sheared. They could however continue using the Port wheel and permanent repairs are being made at the moment.
LATEST COMMUNICATION FROM ELLEN:
"Right now, sailing downwind holding due south at about 18-22 knots of breeze. The sea is much flatter than this morning when it was quite rough round Cape Verde Islands. The wind shadow from the islands is quite impressive - yesterday we were just holding west of south but then gybed west of the most western Cape Verde Island. We then sailed fast and were about 70 miles away and still lost the breeze for an hour from the wind shadow effect from the islands. The wind slowly came back again but pretty impressive really."
CREW MEMBER FOCUS: Damian Foxall (IRE) - Helmsman / Safety / Mechanics
Damian Foxall(33) has raced over 150,000 miles and completed 1 full circumnavigation with Team Tyco in the Volvo Ocean Race (finished 4th overall). Damian's strength is his versatility having competed in almost every element of offshore racing from going solo against the best in the French La Solitaire du Figaro, double-handed with Frank Proffit, record-setting on board Playstation, Volvo Ocean Race, and the French ORMA 60 trimaran circuit as navigator for Karine Fauconnier's Sergio Tacchini. Damian knows KINGFISHER2 well having raced on board her in Orange's Round Britain and Ireland attempt but he also knows a good team is essential:
"I have been aware of the Jules Verne since the outset and its certainly something I've wanted to do. We are here with a good team - really good people - and its important on a race like this to have compatability as it's a very intense experience."