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Spirit's record dream is over.

Byline: Gemma Williams

THE record has gone - but the crew of the Spirit of Cardiff are trying to keep their chins up as they head further towards home. If the powerboat had arrived back in Gibraltar yesterday morning, a new world record for circumnavigating the globe - 74 days, 20 hours and 58 minutes - would have been set.

But the mishaps and bad fortune which have dogged the voyage meant that has become impossible - and to add insult to injury, tropical storms have rocked the Spirit as it heads for its next stop in Quetzal.

Crew member Clive Tully, who has been keeping Echo readers posted on latest developments from the boat itself, takes up the story.

``We shouldn't forget that June 20 was a significant day - the last full day we could have returned to Gibraltar and still have broken Cable & Wireless Adventurer's round-the-world record,'' he said. ``In fact, three minutes before seven o'clock GMT on Friday morning would have done us just fine, but of course it's all a trifle academic now.''

The crew's disappointment was heightened by news of England's World Cup exit at the hands of Brazil yesterday, but as coordinator Nadia Lehmann explained: ``I think they've got other things on their mind.''

The latest storm to lash the boat in the Panama Canal meant the crew were forced to sit out the worst of the weather. ``We're still more than 100 miles from Quetzal, and there's yet another big storm between Guatemala and Panama, so our hopes of arriving there for the weekend have receded somewhat,'' says Clive.

``Even so, we're threequarters of the way around the world and the last quarter has been completed a good week faster than the previous one.

``But the Pacific Ocean is unrelenting in its brutal punishment. I shall be heartily glad to see the back of it.''
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 22, 2002
Words:308
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