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8 October 2003, 09:07 am
Update From Mike Sanderson: Helmsman
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Mari-Cha IV

<I>What an amazing few days we have had out here!!! We have been dreaming about this for a few years now since plans for this mighty yacht first took place, but to be honest, so far it has been even better then I had expected.</I>
The trip has just been an absolute pleasure. It has, without doubt, been the most enjoyable sailing I have ever done - day after day of awesome fast sailing with a fantastic boat and crew.

The 525 mile day was a huge plus yesterday and today we have just done 517 nautical miles. Our main aim out here has always been to break the transatlantic record but we always had in the back of our minds the hope that we could become the first boat to break the 500 mile bench mark.

What's next? Well, depending on how you look at it, 600 nautical miles could be possible if we were to use the gulfstream like the existing record holders, Illbruck. I know there are a lot of people out there that think that shouldn't be the case, but that is how the rule says you can play at the moment and it is the same for everyone - so it is all fair game.

We have now got under 700 nautical miles to go, which is always a nice benchmark when you are racing offshore because suddenly you can compare your time out here to the length of a Fastnet race or a Sydney Hobart, so the boys always get excited about that.

Even though everyone is having great time out here, you can tell that there is a little nervousness in the air. Really the only reason that we won't beat the transatlantic record now would be if we were to break something, and, whilst running in 25 to 35 knots there is a reasonable chance of that, I am sitting here writing this as the boat is hurtling along in relatively flat water at 25/ 27 knots - just awesome sailing.

No real drama or anything to report. It's a little disappointing to have broken our lovely code 3 Gennaker last night when the lock strop broke, but it looks like we will get away without needing it from here to the finish.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully we can have a speedy finish and arrive some time on Thursday (UTC).

Thank you again for all your letters of support - they are great to read; we have them printed out and have them stuck up on a Bulkhead for all to view.
Mari-Cha IV Website
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