Bruno Peyron and his team aboard Orange II are living on the edge as they top 38kts in the Atlantic

Bruno Peyron was a bit on edge during his radio link-up yesterday, because of the high speed Orange II was flying along at 28 knots, 30 knots, 35 knots and peaking at 38 this lunchtime.

Clearly the giant Orange II was swallowing up the miles and widening the lead over his virtual competitors. You can judge for yourself: an average of 32.3 knots at 14.52 GMT, 623 miles covered over the past 24 hours at an average speed of 26 knots.

Orange II has been maintaining a speed of almost 21 knots since the start off Ushant. In just 11 days, Bruno Peyron’s crew will have reached the latitude of Cape Town (South Africa). If the boat keeps up this pace, by the Cape of Good Hope the lead over the Jules Verne Trophy time and the absolute round the world record could well exceed three days!

Over the past two days, the boat has stepped up the pace a little to reach a front off to their south-east. There were heavy, crossed seas and variable winds forcing them to increase the number of manoeuvres. Since Thursday Orange II has been on a perfect trajectory. The boat is on the route as the crow flies, so the shortest route possible. On board, the crew is getting ready to tackle the deep south.

Orange II managed to hop on to this little front that Bruno Peyron and Roger Nilson (navigator) had been aiming at since before the start. The decision to choose a departure time, which meant losing a few hours in the North Atlantic, is paying off in the South Atlantic. This system should now offer the boat a westerly flow. Afterwards, in the southern weather systems Orange II’s trajectory could well continue until the Crozet Islands, located between the Prince Edward Islands and the Kerguelens.

Commenting Bruno Peyron said: “It’s a bit tense, as we’re going so quickly, between 28 and 30-35 knots with peaks around 37-38. We’re probably going to have to reduce the amount of canvas fore, as we cannot keep up this pace. We’re going to ease off a little, when we enter Deep South mode, as we can’t keep pushing the boat like this, when the goal is to get her around the world.”