And They’re Off

Ellen MacArthur and the 13-Man Crew of Kingfisher 2 Begin A Jules Verne Attempt

Ellen MacArthur and the crew of Kingfisher 2 hit a boat speed of 37.1 knots in the first hour of their Jules Verne record attempt Thursday morning. The Ollier cat crossed the start line between Ushant and the Lizard, at the mouth of the English Channel, at 6:48 GMT and by 7:48, had knocked 30 miles off their 26,000-mile lap of the world.Kingfisher 2 was originally scheduled to depart earlier in the week, but mast track and headboard problems meant the crew was forced to tuck in to Plymouth, England to effect repairs. Luckily for MacArthur, Maiden II, a sistership skippered by Tracy Edwards, had some track and Edwards was kind enough to offer it to Kingfisher 2. Meanwhile, in that howling wasteland at the bottom of the world known as the Southern Ocean, Olivier de Kersauson and the crew of the trimaran Geronimo are in the 19th day of their attempt at the Jules Verne. Currently, they are two days ahead of Jules Verne record holder Bruno Peyron, who girded the earth in 64d:8h:37m:24s on Orange, now named Kingfisher 2. To follow Ellen's progress, see