The Orange II - currently 2,026 nm ahead of the Jules Verne record, and 2,160 nm ahead of the outright record - is about to enter the ice zone
The maxi-catamaran Orange II – currently 2,026 nm ahead of the Jules Verne record, and 2,160 nm ahead of the outright record – will return to the western longitude by mid morning today. She’s now tucked onto the northern edge of a depression which is likely to prove an interesting game as the team tries to hold onto the positive effects of the low pressure for as long as possible.
The depression comes at a point which will also give Orange II the benefit of not having to dive too far south. Orange II will cover more miles as it rounds to the north of the floating ice minefield and the visual watch will begin over the next few hours, the high-risk zone starting to the south-east of Stewart Island.
Peyron commented: “We have clearly set ourselves a way-point and are ready to pay the price for passing above this zone. We’re quite lucky as the forecast is helping us to pay as cheaply as possible. With regards organisation, we are going to set up the same visual watch as we did off the Marion and Kerguelen islands. The ultimate precaution is not to get close to the zone though, prepared to extend the course… The decision has been taken.
“We are currently setting a good pace and are positioned well in terms of latitude which means that we’ll be able to benefit from a good angle to the wind and favourable seas. We made two small tacks yesterday to line ourselves up better and since then we have been on a single tack in a north-westerly airflow which is catching up with us. If we work well, we should be able to cover half the Pacific with it. This depression is moving faster than us but not at a constant speed, so it’s going to be an interesting game.”
Commenting on the overall feeling onboard, Peyron added: “And at the midway mark we are stronger today than at the start with a boat and crew in perfect shape! I have even slept like a baby which is a sure sign that all is well aboard the boat and that the boat isn’t suffering.”