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13 April 2005, 12:24 pm
Hard Work To Go Nowhere
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Oryx Quest 2005

There is good news to report. Daedalus is finally free from the doldrums and is moving north at a good rate of knots. After four days of grim sailing, Tony BULLIMORE (GBR) and his team have found fresh breeze and are back in business.
They have had a particularly difficult crossing of the region known to make grown men cry, but there have been no tears shed. Instead the crew have worked hard to keep the boat on track and are now on a course that matches the one taken a couple of weeks ago by Doha 2006. Soon they will be into the stronger headwinds, but for now any wind is better than chasing cats paws across a sticky surface. BULLIMORE described their slow progress made the last few days with an apt analogy.

'It has been hard work going nowhere,' he wrote. 'We have been sailing along at around two/three/four/five knots in the lightest of winds, and for a few minutes, a little blow comes through, and we are suddenly getting speeds of ten to14 knots, and then, as suddenly as the little blow comes, it disappears, and we are back to just about moving along. There is an elderly lady who lives close to me in Bristol, who walks her little dog to Clifton Downs every morning and l swear, she would easily overtake Daedalus if she could walk on water.'

They are currently 400 miles off the Lakshadweep reef, a series of atolls that rings the Lakshadweep Sea. In the next day or two they should finally be back into more familiar waters as they sail into the Arabian Sea.

The increase in wind has brought new energy to BULLIMORE and his team and the new breeze smells more and more like the finish line. At the 0700 hours GMT poll on Wednesday morning Daedalus was still 1,355 miles short of the sand dunes of Doha, but they are averaging over ten knots.

It is likely that they will be slowed by some tricky upwind sailing in the days ahead, but 1,400 miles in a big cat can be just three days sailing if the wind cooperates. The logs from Doha 2006 offer little hope that they will be home by this weekend, but it is almost certain to say that this upcoming weekend will be their last at sea. Meanwhile the crew are well into the rhythm and routine of life at sea as BULLIMORE's log continues. 'Mike INGLIS (GBR) is cook for the day and he will shortly prepare supper. Nick LEGGATT (RSA) and Ian MUNSLOW (GBR), along with Mike INGLIS are on watch, feeling quite charged up getting some positive vibes from the speeds that Daedalus is now achieving. Goncalo [O'NEILL (POR], Nick, Simon [REDDING (GBR)] and James [Dunning (GBR)] will soon be on watch. Let us hope that the winds hold up, we can still break our records and come a great second and James can click away with the cameras, recording more of the action on board Daedalus, until we go over the finish line in the next few days.'

Brian Hancock. mage, Daedalus:© Quest International Sports
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