Since their start of their Mediterranean record attempt this morning Bruno Peyron and team have been sailing at 30 knots of average speed

At 1315 (French time), the Orange II maxi-cat was positioned at the latitude of Northern Sardinia, only five hours after having left Marseilles. Since the start, this morning at 0813 (0613 GMT), when Bruno Peyron and his team aboard Orange II left on their Mediterranean record attempt they have been sailing at 30 knots of average speed, in very tough conditions – 35-40 knots of winds with gusts at 45, and very choppy seas.

At 1500 (1300 GMT) this afternoon, the crew was still maintaining the boat speed between 32 and 35 knots, on a 160 degree heading. Orange II is for the moment ahead of PlayStation’s performance on the course.

Chatting from the boat skipper Bruno Peyron said: “It’s been very risky all morning, and we even asked ourselves if we would not have to give up altogether – the conditions were really extreme. With 45 knots of wind at times, the boat was sailing at 35-40 knots, speeds unseen until today. The whole crew was on deck, hands on the sheets in order to be able to ease off at once if required. Only the very experienced helmsmen took the wheel, which means Sébastien Audigane and Lionel Lemonchois.

“But despite our constant attention, the boat went wild on two occasions, under violent gusts, and we came close to the wipe out! Quite stressful, but at the same time very thrilling. Since noon, fortunately, the conditions are easier, the winds and the waves are more manageable. We’ll soon send more canvas up, to optimise our angle towards the South Sardinian waypoint. We’ve been living wonderful moments since we’ve left the Marseilles harbour, towed by our fishermen pals who have been great. On board, the crew is at its best, very excited by the speed and totally concentrated on our final objective.”