Reeling in the miles...

Bruno Peyron's Orange is now sailing 'full-on' in the Southern Ocean...

Saturday March 23rd 2002, Author: John Greenland/Pierrick Garenne, Location: Transoceanic
Current position

DAY 20 Lat Long Distance over last 24 hrs Distance from start Speed average last 24 hours Instant speed
ORANGE 39.15S 30.36E 485.16 m 8,636.08 m 20.21 kn 23.2 kn
SPORT ELEC 44.41S 02.38W 405 m 6,430.9m 16.87 kn nc

Last night Bruno Peyron's Orange was surfing along in 45 knots of steady wind in a sea described as 'absolutely lousy'.

The maxi-catamaran Orange remains on starboard tack on a heading of ESE reeling in 500nm a day, averaging some 18 knots. "There's no doubt, we're right in it now," commented Bruno.

With the wind blowing up to 80 kph the team have been working hard to keep the massive catamaran under control. "The boys are harnessed on, the helmsman watches the wave ahead as he catches it up, then rides it over while the deck watch have their hands glued to the sheets just in case they have to do an emergency dump," explained Peyron.

The harsh Southern Ocean environment is dealing out some of it's best explained Peyron. "The atmosphere is tense and you have to shout to make yourself heard over the noise of the shrieking wind and waves as they explode on the bows."

As the team sailed through the Doldrums and down the west coast of Africa they were hampered by light winds - now it's the opposite. "We're catching up our lost miles. Going from single reefed main / storm spinnaker to double reefed main / staysail depending on the strength of the wind."

Not only has the team been facing tough wind conditions, these maxi-cats are a handful in strong winds and big seas, but they have also been dealing with the Agulhas current which sweeps down the coast of Africa, whipping up a nasty swell to boot. "We went down the mine [nose dived] a bit violently in a surf at about 0800 this morning," explained Peyron. "We are constantly at between 20 and 32 knots and this time we must have gone from 30 knots to 15 instantly. With the inertia everything went flying around inside. 'Vlad' was preparing a meal and he redecorated the galley, I split my lip open falling over and Florent (Chastell) hurt his pelvis."

These stories on go part way to describing the load put on both equipment and crew to keep the boat together and sailing fast toward beating the circumnavigation record. Next on the list for the team are the Roaring Forties...

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