Orange hits top speed of 38.6 knots

The giant catamaran Orange hit a blistering top speed of 38.6 knots yesterday in a blind burst yesterday as she hurtled through the Tasman Sea – only a couple of knots under the outright world speed sailing record! Conditions are said to be ‘fair’, but the boat has still being taking off on some wild surfs.

Crewman Nick Moloney described how he hit the new top speed in scary terms: “Pitch black night. Can hardly make out the horizon. Probably wouldn’t have happened if I could see where I was going as I most likely wouldn’t have turned our bows down the face of a wave that big.” He added that, at the time, they had 35-40 knots of wind from a true wind angle of 115°, and that they had two reefs in the mainsail and a storm jib.

Skipper Bruno Peyron said: “We’re going really fast. We just reduced sail and we’re sailing at 30 knots, occasionally reaching 36-37 knots.”

These fast conditions are expected to last for a few more days. All on board are reported to be well and in good form after a tough few days being tested by rough weather and repairs to the damaged aft beam fairing.