Bruno Peyron and team aboard the maxi-cat Orange II are now 12 days ahead of the Jules Verne and could still set a new record of under 50 days
Bruno Peyron (left) and team aboard the maxi-cat Orange II are now 12 days ahead of the Jules Verne and could still set a new record of under 50 days.
Having been tested to limit last week when they were stuck floundering in no wind in a ridge of high pressure as the headed up the north Atlantic, and then had to detour out to the west in an effort to escape the worst of it, Team Orange is now back up to speed again. A gybe at 0200 this morning allowed Peyron to calculate exactly how far ahead they were and now (Sunday midday), positioned to the west south west of the Azores they have less than 1,500 miles to go to the finish at Ushant.
Although they are still predicting an ETA of Tuesday 15 March, they are not counting too many chickens just yet. Commenting from the boat this morning Peyron said:
“We’re continuing to weave in and out in very unstable winds. Half an hour ago, we had 14 knots, before that we had 24 and now it’s climbing back up to 20 knots. Strangely, the forecasts are at a loss about what’s happening here. So we have to do without the computers. We’re using the barometer more to navigate and keeping our eyes raised to observe the clouds.
“For the moment, we haven’t really taken off, and I don’t know yet whether we’ll go to the north or south of the Island of Florès [the most northerly island in the Azores]. There’s no point in going up too far, as there will be too much wind and heavy seas. The vital thing is going to be to try to find the right angle and strength of wind. We will however be ahead of the depression, with near perfect seas.
“We’re in fine fettle, not the hint of a health problem. However, that is not going to change the way we sail. It’s always near home that you have an accident, when you’re in a car. So there’s no way we’re going to drop our guard now. Now is not the time to make any mistakes?”
The current situation shows that if they cross the finish line before 1100 GMT on 15 March their time will be 49 days. Any later and they will be into their 50th day which will be an amazing achievement.