Bruno Peyron and team contemplate easing off in the 35kt wind 4/7/06

After just 42 hours at sea Bruno Peyron and his team aboard the 121ft maxicat Orange II have covered more than 1,300 miles on their Transatlantic record attempt. They are also now only 1,500 miles from The Lizard, with a clear lead over PlayStation, the current North Atlantic record holder.

Since setting sail, Bruno Peyron and his troops have achieved an average speed of 31.3 knots which is quite amazing considering PlayStation carried out her record crossing at an average of 25.74 knots.

Chatting during the radio session this morning where the wind was clearly stronger than expected Peyron said: “We should perhaps lower the staysail? Or maybe take in a second reef? In theory, there was going to be 30 knots but things have turned out to be quite different, with a steady 30 to 35 knots.” 

So, no rest in sight for the 12 men on board, who are continuing their headlong dash gradually making their way out of the fog enabling them to see up to around three miles.  

The Newfoundland Banks lie in their wake, but it was no easy matter getting away from them, as just as they were moving away they hit a header 20 degrees on and the wind suddenly rose to 35 knots, which forced them to manoeuvre for two hours.

This episode just goes to show the degree of alertness that constantly possesses the crew, who remain fully focused, as the miles go by. It appears the maxi catamaran hit something during the night.  Peyron continued: “The bang could be felt on the hull, the daggerboard and the starboard rudder. We may have lost a little bit of the rudder.” 

While Orange II now has a lead of 199 miles over PlayStation, there is still some uncertainty about how annoying the high pressure areas over the west of Europe are going to be.  The navigator Roger Nilson has therefore decided to move a little further north in order to finish via the Fastnet rock  in order to have a better angle for the final stretch.