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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Edwards eyes Jules Verne mark
Tracy Edwards
Edwards last attempted to break the round-the-world record in 1998
Tracy Edwards will attempt to break the Jules Verne round-the-world yachting record this winter as part of a new 38m sponsorship deal.

Edwards' Maiden Ocean Racing team has teamed up with the Gulf state of Qatar to create a four-year programme which includes two new sailing challenges.

"I am thrilled and excited about the future," said Edwards.

"I hope this agreement will raise the profile of both ocean racing and a country I have come to love."

As part of the deal, Edwards' boat Maiden II will be renamed Qatar 2006.

After her attempt at the Jules Verne record early in 2004, Edwards will compete in the inaugural Oryx Cup a year later.

The winner of the non-stop global race for giant multihulls will receive $1m, the largest ever cash prize in sailing history.

Dismasted

In December 2006, Edwards will participate in the Qatar Sports Global Challenge, which will feature both multihull and monohull yachts.

The Challenge will feature five stop-overs, including locations in the Far East and America.

A month before the race, the participating yachts will take part in the first Suez Parade from the UK to Qatar, arriving in Doha at the beginning of December.

The Jules Vernes round-the-world record is currently held by Frenchman Bruno Peyron, who managed it in 64 days in 2002.

Edwards' fellow Briton Ellen MacArthur attempted to better that mark last year but her catamaran was dismasted in the southern Indian Ocean.

In 1998, Edwards became the first skipper to lead an all-women team in an attempt to break the round-the-world record.

Edwards' effort was also ended by a broken mast.

Edwards and her Maiden II crew hold the current world record for the biggest distance covered in a 24-hour period.






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