The maxi-catamaran Orange II should complete its round the world tomorrow night with a time of approximately 50 days 10 hours

The maxi-catamaran Orange II should complete its round the world tomorrow night, Tuesday. Its race time will be 50 days and around 10 hours.

Another big day at sea and the record will be exploded; pulverised by over a week. Having made 630 miles over the past 24 hours and the Azores archipelago now in its wake, the way to Brest now seems free of obstacles. Ideally situated at the front of an Atlantic depression, Orange II will be able to maintain this pace with, of course, one established rule that has been the guiding principal throughout this hopefully soon to be victorious campaign: not taking any unconsidered risks, constantly checking all the gear, making sure it’s as good as new according to the crew. The wind has been blowing at over 30 knots from the south-west since last night. Bruno and his navigator are waiting for the wind to head, a more southerly wind then kicking in to aid their progress as far as Ushant.

Bruno Peyron at his 1400 GMT radio session said: “The conditions are very fine. We have a 30 knot south-westerly. We’re on a broad reach with one reef in the mainsail and the small gennaker. We went a little off course 20 minutes ago so we’re going to put in a reef. It’s like we’re doing the Mediterranean record with this limpid blue sky. The air is moist and we’re in a warm front, with the depression behind us. We haven’t had any hairy moments during the round the world as we’re always careful to be slightly under the threshold of losing control. Right now we’re in a controlling phase: we’re making 30 knots while we could be making 35. If something breaks that we haven’t been able to see, we don’t want it to happen in the last 30 hours.

“The weather conditions will dictate the time of arrival. It will be night-time, which will enable us to have a little time to ourselves. During the night, we’re selfishly going to savour the privileged moment and after that we’ll make for the port of Brest! We will enter into the harbour early Wednesday morning. We should have 30kts of wind at the finish. We haven’t had any more than that on the round the world apart from once when we were below the Falklands, with a gust of 48 knots, but on flat seas.”

Bernard Stamm, during the radio session added: “It’s a superb voyage! It was close to perfection so I wouldn’t head out again for just anything. Two months ago, I didn’t think I’d be doing the round the world, even less so in 50 days! I didn’t realise the average speeds these engines could keep up. Orange II is a machine, it’s impressive. Even in big seas, it doesn’t stop! At the helm, it’s balanced…after that, it depends on whether the seas are crossed and if they’re following seas. My best memories are linked with the speed you clock in the surfs. I think my best speed was 39 knots something. But the goal was never to rack up the biggest score.”