Only 10,000 miles to go and a new record on the horizon
Bruno Peyron and his Orange II crew have increased their lead Jules Verne lead to 2,827 miles over the weekend on their rapid Pacific crossing towards Cape Horn. Their average speed since the departure from Ushant 28 days ago has also gone from 23 to 24.4 knots since last Friday.
The team is currently hooked onto the northern edges of the depression and is really making the most of its potential to extend its lead. Though the average speed over a half hour period has dropped slightly in the early hours of this Monday 21 February, the team have been making 28 to 29 knots for a large part of the time, with an instantaneous speed of between 30 and 35 knots.
The record Peyron and his 13 men currently have in mind is the Pacific record set a year ago by Cheyenne between Tasmania and Cape Horn (11 days, 20 hours and 18 minutes). Such a time would give Orange II a lead of at least five days on passing the Southern tip of the South America.
To establish this record Orange II needs to pass the longitude of Cape Horn before Tuesday 1 March at 0144 GMT. Achieving the record however, depends on the evolution of the depression that the maxi-catamaran is currently managing to stay with. It may push them as far as the latitude/longitude of the tip of Chile. Otherwise it may go on ahead leaving them to deal with a transition phase between two depression systems or give them a chance to exploit the Southern edge of the anticyclone in the North Pacific.