Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Standing By to Stand By

I am not sure that there are many adventurous records in the world that don't involve the weather is some shape or form, whether it's a Ballooning attempt as Sir Richard and Virgin know all so much about, or in our case with this Cross Atlantic Challenge. Attempting to cross the Atlantic in the fastest time possible in a mono-hull sailing boat, beating the current record of 6 days 17 hours, it is just a matter of hurrying up and waiting.... Well that’s how we so often talk about it and that is what is so often written about campaigns like this.
The reality is that even while we are moored there is still a lot going on.

Every six hours we have two separate teams looking at the weather situation, Ken Campbell and his team at Commanders and Stan Honey and the onboard team of Virgin Money. The first task is to look at the raw data individually. If there is even any slight glimmer of hope of a decent weather pattern then instantly the wheels of discussion start moving.
The plan is to see a possible attempt window as far out as seven days, then by constant monitoring we would watch it all the way down, right to the point where we get the onboard team set up and ready for the challenge with just 36 hours to go.

Despite the yacht staying in dock, Virgin Money is constantly worked on and prepared. Like any high tech piece of race equipment, she needs pretty constant nurturing and we have some of the world's best there with Nick Bice and his team who will ensure the yacht is ready to leap into action at short notice.

So, in one sense we are hurrying up and waiting, but when this thing begins it will happen quickly!! It is all very exciting, we will keep you posted. - Mike Sanderson