Bruno Peyron is predicting that the maxi-cat Orange could finish as soon as next Sunday

After days of nursing their damaged mast step, sailing cautiously to windward to minimise slamming and going a long way west to pick up free winds, maxi-cat Orange has started to pick up speed at last and change course back towards Europe.

The current Jules Verne record, set by Olivier de Kersauson’s trimaran Sport Elec, stands at 71 days and if the weather pattern remains stable Orange could well knock 7 days off this time.

In the last 24 hours (to 0600 GMT 30 April) Orange covered 523 miles and with less than 2000 miles to go her crew are already looking forward to getting ashore in a few days – that mast step permitting.

Preventative repairs have been made to reduce the chances of dismasting if the bearing breaks and a system of greasing the ball support has been established. It is believed that lack of grease may have been the original cause of the problem.

Orange is currently to the west of the Azores and plans to sail across the top of the well-established High to continue carrying favourable winds.