Peyron elects to take the long route home to avoid head seas

Just what they didn’t need: Orange caught up with headwinds yesterday, and with them head seas that the crew admitted were not to the boat’s liking. To avoid damage to their rig, they continued gingerly under reefed main and staysail.

This should be one of the quicker parts of the circumnavigation. However not only are they having to sail undercanvassed, but the miles are stretching out ahead of them again. To avoid the probability of further head seas, Bruno Peyron has decided to take the long road home. He said yesterday that they would be making a loop almost as far west as the Caribbean.

“The situation is dramatically simple,” he explained. “We have no options to try because we must fetch the following winds where they are. We’re going to do a big loop to the west hoping that we can sail in beam winds in the Trades, then pick up the following winds that are turning round the high”.

This course adds about 25 per cent extra over the direct route, and to make the finish at Ushant, the crew will have to give away some of their lead. Peyron is philosophical. “If we have to lose one or two days, we’ll loose them. What’s important is finishing and bringing home the Jules Verne Trophy!”