Brief respite

Orange back up to speed - but how long will it last?

Thursday March 28th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 0800
Day 26 Lat Long Distance last 24hrs Speed last 24hrs Instant speed
ORANGE 47°37S 81°8 E 491 nm 20.46knots 25 knots
SPORT ELEC 50°57 s 65°58 E 441.70nm 18.40 knots

One day hove to. Two days beating into a nasty head sea. Orange has paid heavily to get south on her passage across the Southern Ocean. Sailing at 20 knots on a sea that back to being manageable Peyron and his crew are back on track again and the deep depression that is moving away ahead of them is opening the door to the south where they will be able to make best use of the strong westerly winds.

At present it is hard to judge how many mile Orange has lost due to the conditions - possibly as much as a day and a half. This will become clearer when they pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin next Sunday or Monday.

On the daily radio sked with Orange skipper Bruno Peyron was happier as he now feels there is light at the end of the tunnel and he will be able to get more southing in with less possibility of wrecking his boat. The wind is blowing steadily from the north-west, but conditions are not yet perfect as although the sea is flat, it is not from the best direction for the maxi-cat.

"Another little effort and we should be able to worm our way under the nasty secondary low that's been preoccupying us for some days..." commented Peyron. "The cold is back and the boys on watch are taking it in turns at thirty minute stints on the helm under the assault of the fire hoses. The sea is still a bit crossways on. It's damp on board but it's the price to pay for remaining on the right track. The south is living up to its reputation? no surprises!"

Currently Orange is sailing on port tack and back into the big daily runs of 500+ miles. "We're precisely where we want to be," commented Peyron. "We're waiting for a new wind shift so that we can gybe and get onto the most direct route possible. Orange has started her forward march again."

But it will not be plain sailing as a new low is fast approaching from astern. The crew are watching it - how strong will it be? How is it developing? And above all what will the sea be like. "At 25 knots in the chop, Orange is slamming hard!" said Peyron. "and the boat is jumping on the little short ocean waves. The weather is glorious and because of our latitude, it's starting to get cold. Watches are difficult. The helmsman remains very exposed to the spray. We can't wait for the great downwind surfs!"

Peyron went on to praise her crew. "This group is great. Its manoeuvring performance is amazing. Last night again, we multiplied reef taking and foresail changes" About another ten hours effort and at high speed and on just one tack, Orange will be able to start dreaming of Australia".

See page two for Nick Moloney's update...

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