Green light for Orange

Bruno Peyron's giant cat will set off on her Jules Verne attempt this afternoon

Thursday February 14th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Bruno Peyron, skipper of the maxi catamaran Orange, has confirmed that his 13-man crew will slip their lines from the commercial port in Brest this morning at 0800. The 110ft cat will then head for the starting line between Ushant and the Lizard with the intention of crossing it between 1200 and 1400 this afternoon.

It has been almost 9 years since Peyron became the first to conquer the sub-80 days round the world record.

"We're leaving as ready as we can be and serene," declared Bruno Peyron yesterday afternoon, surrounded by his entire crew. "We'll be spending a final quiet night albeit rather excited about the perspective of this new adventure that awaits us. We're therefore starting first, before Olivier de Kersauson and his men.

"It is not a choice because of the two possibilities I would rather be the hunter than the hunted. I wish Olivier and his crew a fair wind. In order of importance, our first objective is to come back to Brest as fast as possible, try to lower the time round the world by sailing as fast as possible, then beat Olivier and his crew".

De Kersauson's similarly massive trimaran Geronimo is due to leave next week after a new mast is fitted.

These two Jules Verne attempts are a prelude to what is stacking up to be a very interesting line up of boats making attempts on the Jules Verne Trophy in 12 months time.

At present it looks as though all of the new generation maxi-catamarans are intending to make attempts on the record. The line up looks to include Steve Fossett on PlayStation or whatever the boat is called by then. American Cam Lewis, who was part of Peyron's original crew nine years ago, has also intimated that he would like to have go on his sistership to Orange, Team Adventure, assuming he can sort out the insurance situation on the boat after it broke its port bow on a transatlantic record attempt last year.

From the British perspective the interest will be on Tracy Edwards, who it seems likely will be racing Grant Dalton's former Club Med with an all-female crew. If all this comes to past then, by a process of elimination it looks as though Ellen MacArthur will be chartering Orange to make her attempt. By this time Bruno Peyron hopes that his new larger version of Orange will be under construction at Multiplast to another design by Gilles Ollier & Associates.

See page two for the wind vector charts of today and tomorrow...

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