Averaging between 24 and 32 knots, Explorer flies towards her own previous record, on track for a 550 miles day
Friday June 11th – 10.30 French time. Bruno Peyron : “We are more than ever closer to the record time. For the last 24 hours, we have been doing more than 24 knots average with peaks at 32 knots and it should still continue to rise according to the weather forecast”. Words confirmed by the router Pierre Lasnier who even announced that today should be the best day of the crossing for the boat, with the possibility of achieving the magic 550 miles/24 hours.
A performance that Bruno feels is quite possible : “In November 95, we already notched up 545 miles on this same course. But what strikes me the most for the moment, is the daily average we have kept up since the start (504 miles). I don’t think this has ever been done before. As for the record, we haven’t given up yet. We are sailing under full main and a solent jib with a Southerly wind of 20/25 knots on the direct route. She’s smoking!
Explorer’s crew can still hope. Taking into account the distance still to go as far as the Lizard (GB), Explorer will have to maintain an average of 23 knots to beat Jet Services and finish before Sunday at 12.37 French time. For the first time since the start, Explorer has reduced Jet Services’ lead, having clawed back 143 miles at the last tally. Without counting that yesterday and for two hours, Explorer was sailing at reduced speed to repair the starboard rudder which was starting to escape from its housing.
Bruno Peyron : “Skip had to go down the black hole of the aft compartment of the hull again to put the rudder back in place and tighten it all up. Indeed it was from there that we were taking on water. Thank goodness we were able to get this done before the start of our high speed sprint”.
So concentration is at a maximum to keep Explorer on the fastest heading. The Azores were left in their wake last night, Explorer having passed between the islands of Florès and Faial. On board, morale is high. Elena Caputo : “The sun has come out again at last even though it is quite cold. It’s superb. We have finally been able to eat something hot”. Weather for the next 24 hours : Southerly winds 20-25 knots which might turn South-Easterly at day’s end.
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