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Playstation Preparation Plans
Assessing his program after an aborted Atlantic record attempt Steve Fossett has changed his preparation schedule. Rather than sail the boat to England Playsation will spend the winter in Fort Lauderdale Florida. This means that Playstation will shelve an attempt at winning the Jules Verne Trophy which goes to the holder of the absolute around the world sailing speed record.
By wintering in Florida Playsation will be able to test and prepare. The Atlantic record has brought out just how extreme the new fleet of maxi catamarans are.
The size of Playsation is hard to fully comprehend. It takes the crew around half an hour to hoist the mainsail even with a 2:1 purchase. The battens that broke and caused the Atlantic attempt to end are 57 feet in length.
According to Steve Fossett: "De-powering must be done early because once loads spiral out of control on a boat this powerful there is nothing 10 men can do except hold on. And hope." This winter will be spent learning how to sail a boat of such large proportions.
Kingfisher builds in New Zealand
The Open 60 that British Sailor Ellen Macarthur will sail in the Vendee Globe is building at Marten Marine in New Zealand. Kingfisher was recently turned upright as shown in these photos. Kingfisher weighed under her target weight always a good sign. After launching in New Zealand Kingfisher will be sailed on a fairly epic delivery from New Zealand to England.
Pictures courtesy of the Kingfisher Challenges Website
(C)update: 'Tween Rounds
One of the issues to crop up between rounds is the issue of crew eligibility. Sailors from several of the eliminated teams want to sail for other teams.
A notable example of this is former Young Australia skipper James Spithill and 5 crewmates of his. America One realizes that being Australian they can't sail in actual races. However, they maybe able to sail on USA 49 which will become America One's backup boat. In particular Spithill could steer the boat and help Paul Cayard with his starts.
While Spithill and his countryman await an arbitration panels decision they are spending their nites at Auckland's downtown railway station.
Regardless of whether he gets his Aussie reinforcements Cayard seems optimistic. In a statement on his teams website Cayard said: "I am bullish on our chances...as bullish as I would ever care to be. We have a new, fresh weapon to bring out for this all important round and the team is sailing better than ever."
Team Dennis Conner will take a 4 day Christmas break. It will start 22 December and stretch to 26 December. After the break Stars and Stripes will be back on the water. According to team member Bill Trenkle, "We are willing to train with any of the other challenger teams one-boat or two-boat it doesnt matter to us. Either way, its better than sailing against our tender."