They may still be struggling in little wind right now but Peyron and team aboard the 120ft cat Orange II hope to be back on track again soon

Bruno Peyron and team battling to retain their advantage over Steve Fossett’s outright round the world speed record are currently still lodged in a ridge of high pressure off the Cape Verde Islands. But the good news is they should be through it soon.

For the first time since Thursday 17 February, the average speed since the start has dropped off to below 30 knots and, rather than covering the usual 650 miles a day, they’ve only managed to clock up 170 miles over 24 hours. The current windspeed is just 0.6kts.

Although Team Orange II can’t make any forecasts yet about an exact ETA in Brest, early indications show they should cross the line sometime between 15-17 March at the latest. This means that if they finish on 16 March they will have circumnavigated the world in 50 days, taking eight days off the record.

Bruno Peyron said: “We’re right in the middle of the ridge of high pressure, but on the right side of it. We’re going around the high, which is sliding towards us, and tomorrow evening we’ll be to its west. We still have 2,500 miles to cover, and normally that would take four days.

“The lads are used to this sort of situation and we all know that having the fastest boat in the world isn’t much good in these conditions. Life isn’t that unpleasant. Setting the mainsail and code zero under the stars. There are worse things, especially when you know that in just a few hours things will be looking up. For the moment, we’re going to miss the low situated over the Azores, but we’re going to pick up the next one. However, it is located so far south, that according to the forecasts, we’ll be finishing sailing upwind. We’ll get by, especially when what lies ahead isn’t very certain. We have known since crossing the Equator that this stretch wasn’t going to be easy.”