Bruno Peyron and crew aboard Orange prepare for an early morning Jules Verne start

Bruno Peyron and team set off for the Jules Verne start line this afternoon aboard Orange II, the recently-launched new maxi-catamaran. They are currently heading towards the western tip of Brittany for an early morning start, off Ushant Island, tomorrow.

During a press conference held earlier today, Peyron presented his 15-man crew and announced a couple of changes to the list. Hervé Jan (watch leader) revealed he would not leave for family reasons. He was replaced by Frenchman Nicolas Pichelin, former crewmember aboard Club Med, winner of The Race. Also Swede Eduardo Valteras became the 15th man, in charge of onboard computing systems.

The start is scheduled for tomorrow morning between 0600 and 1000 GMT (700 and 1100 French time). Commenting on the pending start, Peyron said: “We will take advantage of 20kt easterly winds for the start. The weather conditions are good, and the wind is expected to increase as early as the second day. We will then aim for a low-pressure cell positioned south of Portugal, which we should tackle in the right direction. The boat is 100 per cent ready and the crew is very concentrated. I hope we’ll do a good job.”

The current benchmark time on the course (round the world, crewed) is 64 days, 8 hours and 37 minutes, set by Peyron sailing Orange I in May 2002.

Crew list

Bruno Peyron (skipper)

Roger Nilson (Navigator/Medical)

Halvard Mabire (Watch leader/Helmsman)

Yann Eliès (Watch leader/Sails)

Jacques Caraës (Trimmer/Video)

Yves Le Blévec (Shore coordination/composite materials)

Ronan Le Goff (Bowman/Deck hardware)

Nicolas Pichelin (Trimmer/Helmsman)

Jean-Baptiste Epron (Supplies/Video)

Sébastien Audigane (Helmsman /Security)

Florent Chastel (Bowman/Rigging)

Vladimir Dzalba-Lyndis (Medical/Security)

Klabbe Nylof (Helmsman/Mechanics)

Nicolas de Castro (Bowman/Composites applications)

Eduardo Valderas (Computer systems)