Orange hits high pressure zone off Canary Islands

Bruno Peyron and team aboard the 120ft maxi catamaran Orange 2 left Lanzarote and Fuerteventura (southernmost of the two islands of the Spanish archipelago) to port during the night.

Several gybes were required to get around the little group of islands, and they now suffering from light airs. At 0400 Orange 2 was recorded doing just 6.3 knots and averaging only 7.8 knots over half an hour.

Peyron and his men are feeling their way through a narrow corridor with the wind directly aft. The only solution for the moment is to compromise on the speed to ensure they make headway south in order to pick up a steadier north-easterly, which is starting to get up underneath the huge mass of high pressure, stretching out in a kidney shape along the African coast. It is this very same anticyclone that has been posing so many problems for the leaders in the Vendée Globe.

In spite of this, Orange II is showing off her true qualities in this difficult phase of light winds by achieving an average speed of 22.7 knots since the start, and 16.6 knots over the past 24 hours. The maxi-catamaran has covered 400 miles towards home over the past 24 hours, bringing the total distance covered to 1,492 miles.