After a stormy night with winds in excess of 40 knots, Team Orange is well ahead of schedule on its Round Britain and Ireland record-breaking attempt
The third day of the Round Britain and Ireland record attempt has been the most favorable for Bruno Payroll’s maxi-catamaran Orange. Since yesterday, the maxi-cat is ahead of the schedule set by the American Steve Fossett by 100 miles.
At 1100 hours this morning Orange was 14.3 miles away from rounding Muckle Flugga, the northern most tip of the British Isles. Orange is humming along at 20-25 knots, and by the middle of last night had made up some of the distance during yesterday’s light winds. This morning, after a fast sail through a stormy night of strong winds (35-40 knots) and an angry sea, the giant Orange was 12 hours ahead of the record.
The weather conditions remain difficult for Bruno Peyron and his crew. Today they will be up against strong southerly winds – precisely the heading on which they have to sail, which will mean an uncomfortable day sailing for all on board.
Skipper, Bruno Peyron said during an audio call this morning:
“An amazing early morning at 61 degrees N. We are now close to the very northern tip or Britain, after a rather rough night in winds of 35-40 knots and a cross sea over the plateaux to the north of Scotland. We sailed very fast indeed last night and by this morning we were a 100 miles ahead of Steve Fossett’s record. For the moment, we are at 25-35 knots. It’s pretty wet and wild. We’ve been pushing the boat hard since yesterday. Neal claims that we even topped 42 knots at one point!.
Neal added: “It’s true. What an exciting but busy night – lots of reefs in and out. The flat water however, has allowed us to reach tremendous speeds that have eaten up the miles lost.”
When asked about the record, Bruno added: “Nothing is decided yet as now we’ve got to head south straight into southerly winds. This will mean beating upwind in strong winds which unfortunately will increase the length of our course two-fold. We’ll no doubt lose a bit of our lead. It’ll all depend on how we come out of this system. This we will find out in the next 12 hours or so. As things stand, we are making the most of the incredible sunrise over the Shetland Islands. At 61 degrees N, we are the same latitude north as Cape Horn is south – the light is very similar. Some of the guys are busy up on deck manoeuvring. Donning their foul weather gear, harnesses on and wearing ski goggles to keep the spray (travelling at 25-30 knots) out of their eyes. This is wild but brilliant sailing – rare moments we are all making the most of.”
To beat Steve Fossett’s 1994 record, Orange has to cross the finish line (Isle of Wight – UK) before four minutes past six and forty six seconds on Sunday 18 August.