Next hurdle is the Azores High

Orange has been making good progress this weekend in moderate tradewinds. With just over 2,000 miles to go to the finish, a new round the world record is looking probable, although the crew are still being cautious about their course in order to limit stress to the damaged mast bearing.

Their next obstacle is the Azores High, which lies about 1,000 mile to the north. Expecting the wind to veer to the east, navigator Gilles Chiorri has fixed a position to the south-west of the Azores where he expects they will tack the boat. Skipper Bruno Peyron points out, however: “We haven’t ruled out sailing through the middle of the Azores, but we’ve got three difficult days ahead of us and even if we’re on a good course at the moment, it’s not out of the question that we’ll be doing a little westing to spare the boat.”

After reaching the Azores High, the crew should be able to ease sheets and making better speeds for Ushant. Apart from beating the record the crew have another incentive to finish as quickly as possible: they have about five days’ food left on board and are about to ration the remaining stores.