The Orange II 120ft maxi-catamaran, skippered by Bruno Peyron, is due to set sail once again, in this Saturday's Round the Island Race

After two months spent in dock having work done on her to improve her technical capabilities, the Orange II 120ft maxi-catamaran, skippered by Bruno Peyron, is due to set sail once again, in this Saturday’s Round the Island Race.

Bruno Peyron, who’s aiming to set a new round the island speed record, commented on this weekend’s race: “Orange II was designed and built to become the fastest yacht in the world over the next five years, and it is by sailing and making progress that we will achieve our goal, which still remains for me winning back the Jules Verne Trophy. This trip around the Isle of Wight isn’t really suited to our giant, but more than beating the clock, our aim is above all to sail and continue with the process of perfecting and developing the boat. That’s also the reason why we may be making an attempt on the North Atlantic crossing record this summer.” The couple of months the boat spent in dock this winter have allowed some of the technical points, which forced her to abandon her attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy earlier this winter, to be ironed out including the boat’s propulsion systems which have been changed. The handling of the boat has also been improved thanks to some painstaking work on her appendages. Finally, the fitting of a new generation of rudders (to be delivered at the end of August) should settle the steering problems the boat has encountered.

According to Team Orange, this weekend’s sailing event in the Solent maybe followed by an attempt on the Channel crossing record between Cowes and Saint-Malo. After this Orange will probably head off towards New York to be ready to attempt the North Atlantic crossing record (New York – The Lizard), weather conditions permitting. Orange II will be back in her homeport of Marseilles in September, to continue her schedule of training and record attempts in the Mediterranean.

To break the round the island speed record this weekend Peyron will have to finish within 3h,10mn,11s – the current time held by Francis Joyon. To beat the absolute record (established within the conditions for a record) he will need to beat Steve Fossett’s PlayStation time of 2h, 33mn, 55s.