The high speed, high stakes chaos that is Jules Verne record attempts has been all change the past week. Two boats have returned to France to repair and soon-restart while the other has passed the Cape of Good Hope in record time.
Geronimo arrived in Brest France last Friday. While in port Geronimo’s 3 gennakers were repaired as time dictated news ones could not be built. Geronimo plans to restart tommorrow.
Orange II made it a mere day into her attempt before turning around with damage to her bow crash boxes. Albeit the day saw her sail 580 miles! The newest of the maxi cats arrived in Lorient France on Sunday with repairs completed yesterday. Bruno Peyron plans to leave for a Thursday start with the same crew.
While the French boats restart, American Steve Fossett and crew have reached the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa 25 hours ahead of record pace. From the equator to Good Hope they needed 227 hours which is the fastest time between these two points.
Cheyenne’s trip to Good Hope was not without drama. Early Monday Cheyenne developed a major forestay problem. At that time Steve Fossett said: “Hope is slim.” What happened is that Cheyenne’s 1.5 inch diameter forestay disconnected from it’s end terminal.
Cheyenne uses Navtec’s Norseman rigging terminal which do not require swaging. The manufacturer claims, “They can be installed quickly and easily at sea, making them ideal for emergency repairs.” Cheyenne’s crew led by Jacques Vincent managed the repair in 16 hours still managing 446 miles in the 24 hours, most of it sans forestay.
Cheyenne has just had her 3 500+ mile day in 4 days. The crew now aims to get to nearly 50 degrees south latitude and according to their weather router, “should really bomb eastwards for the next 3 days at least.”
The save by the Cheyenne crew and their current pace means that the two French boats will not have a margin for error upon restarting. There’s still only been 4 successful attempts. Therefore the odds that all three will be record setters is slim. Maybe one will make enough order out of chaos to become the 5 JV record holder.
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