Bruno Peyron and his 14-man crew have started their world speed record attempt

Bruno Peyron and his crew crossed the Jules Verne start line in 20kts of wind off Lorient at 10:03:07 this morning on their round the world record attempt aboard the 120ft maxi-catamaran Orange 2.

On board, 14 men trying to accomplish a major feat have some clear goals in mind. The two major ones being the Jules Verne Trophy record, held since the 29 April 2004 by Olivier de Kersauson and the crew of the trimaran Geronimo (in 63d, 13h 59mn), then the absolute round the world record, held since the 5 April 2004 by the American Steve Fossett and the crew of the maxi-catamaran Cheyenne (in 58d, 09h, 32mn).

Chatting before he left the dock yesterday Peyron said: “The weather conditions are good, as the high has headed up towards the British Isles and the south-eastern edge of this high should offer us an east-north-easterly wind.

“She [Orange 2] is in theory the fastest boat in the world. She showed her full potential last summer with the 24 h record and the Mediterranean crossing. It’s up to us to prove that she is the fastest boat sailing around the world.”

To beat the record Orange 2 has to return before 29 March at 0hr 01’53” GMT. And to beat the absolute record she has to be back in Ushant before 23 March on 19hr 34’52” GMT.

Crew line-up

Bruno Peyron (Skipper), Roger Nilson (navigator, doctor), Lionel Lemonchois (watch leader – helmsman), Philippe Péché (watch leader – helmsman), Yann Elies (watch leader – helmsman), Ronan Le Goff (Bowman, in charge of rigging), Sébastien Audigane (helmsman, in charge of safety), Jacques Caraes (adjustor, in charge of filming), Florent Chastel (bowman, in charge of running rigging), Yves Le Blévec (adjuster, in charge of the general organisation), Jean-Baptiste Epron (adjuster, in charge of supplies and logistics), Nicolas de Castro (Bowman, in charge of composites), Ludovic Aglaor (helmsman) and Bernard Stamm (helmsman, in charge of mechanics).