At least as far as Bruno Peyron is concerned. His maxicat Orange, formerly named Innovation Explorer during The Race, is mast-stepped, victualled and ready to go
Bruno Peyron’s Ollier-designed 110ft maxicat Orange has moved from her mooring in the Moulin Blanc marina to Brest’s commercial harbour, and is champing at her lines, waiting for green-light weather to set out on her attempt at Sport Elec’s 71-day Jules Verne record.
“Whilst in 1993 it was a case of setting out into the unknown round the world,” said Bruno Peyron, referring to his 1993 voyage when he became the first skipper to break the non-stop, 80-day, around the world record in Commodore Explorer, “we now know a little more about where we’re treading and the technology has somewhat evolved with these maxi-catamarans. So our ambitions are a little different.
“Of course we’ll be doing everything possible to succeed,” he added, “which is not as easy as it sounds. We’ll also be trying to win the duel with Olivier de Kersauson – current Jules Verne record holder – and (his 111ft maxi-trimaran) Geronimo, because it’s going to be a very interesting clash between two totally different boats. And, of course, we’ll be doing everything possible to bring the record time down.
“To achieve this, we’ve done a lot of work to improve the reliability of the boat in certain areas and we have gathered together a team with great human qualities capable of understanding the objectives. It is made up of thirteen men, including myself, and between us we have four or five America’s Cups, four or five Whitbreads, three Jules Vernes, a good twenty Figaros and six or seven Mini Transats. In short, a superb team with very varied experiences.”
The long-awaited two-boat race around the world – not seen since Sir Peter Blake’s ENZA set off with Commodore Explorer – is also on the cards. “It is more likely than ever and it’s still possible that we’ll be setting off together,” said Peyron. “Geronimo’s mast should be delivered around 15 February and the boat could sail three or four days later.
“There is a small weather window we’re keeping a close eye on, and that’s why, from the beginning of this week we’ll be on standby, ready to start. If it evolves correctly, we’ll be obliged to take it, otherwise we’ll start with Geronimo.”