Bruno Peyron, skipper of the Orange II maxi-catamaran, has revealed during today's audio chat session the nature of the incident that occurred aboard Orange yesterday

Bruno Peyron, skipper of the Orange II maxi-catamaran, has revealed during today’s audio chat session the nature of the incident that occurred yesterday. He said: “It happened yesterday morning while we were sailing flat out. We realised at dawn that we had lost 30 cm of the starboard crash box. It must have happened between 0400 and 0800. Yet we’re positive we did not hit anything because we would have felt it at the helm, so we do not have any explanation for this problem. It’s a very tricky part to build, so maybe it needs to be reinforced. We’ll study this problem with the architects, in order to repair the boat as quickly as possible and set off again. We took the decision to head towards Lorient this morning, and we hope to be there by Sunday, if the conditions do not force us to slow down. What really is positive is that the boat has proved her potential, sailing downwind at more than 30 knots, despite having 3 tonnes of load onboard. There still remains a small problem concerning the rudders, but we identified it ? under certain circumstances, this probably will require that we take it easy.”

Objectives: get home, repair, re-start.

To the question: do you think you can fix the boat and restart? Bruno Peyron’s answer is clear: “If we had been in the middle of the Pacific, the question of turning back would not even have been mentioned. But in that case, after only one day at sea, it would not have been reasonable to carry on, knowing we had the possibility to come back easily. After having consulted the Gilles Ollier Design Team, we think the boat can be repaired in two to three days, which would allow for another start by the middle of next week. We decided to come back to Lorient, and to have both bows rebuilt. For the moment, we’re doing 10 knots with 30 knots of wind on the nose, that’s not so bad.”

It has been quite a blow for the whole crew, and everyone was just starting to get into the pace after 24 hours onboard. Peyron continued: “It’s true, the first night is always a difficult one for the crew. The biological rhythms are not totally set yet, one hardly gets any sleep and the tiredness is consequent. This ‘mishap’ is rather tough to accept. Psychologically, it nevertheless has been easier to cope with than our masthead breakage, in 2002 just when we started. Today, the boat is intact even though the damage to the bow results in a big water projection. The crew has been great, very calm and serene. Everybody got to work immediately. We decided to swallow our disappointment and to look ahead on our new start.

“The ETA for our Lorient base is Sunday. We decided to take the boat out of the water and to organise the repairs under the direction of the Multiplast Yard crew. We then hope to be able to take advantage of the northerly winds that are settled. In the best scenario possible, the boat will be on the dock on Monday morning. Hopefully, the weather window won’t close right in front of us… We’ll remain positive about that and count on our good luck. It happened to us two years ago, and we did not give up. There’s no reason why we would not be able to do it this time.”