East to West

Orange thunders across the date line...

Saturday April 6th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: Transoceanic
Day 35 - 0800 GMT

Orange position: 51deg 03S 172deg 21W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 477.54nm (19.83knots average)

Compared to Sport Elec in 1997
Position: 49deg 00S 166deg 25E (18.08knots average)

Distance between the boats today - 827 nm
Down the track: currently Orange is 810 nm ahead

The crew aboard Bruno Peyron's Orange continue to stretch their lead over the record breaking time of Sport Elec. For the last 24 hours the team has had near perfect sailing, and at midnight last night they crossed into the western hemisphere.

"To our left, about 2000 miles away, is the island of Tonga... a little to the right of that the Cook islands, then a bit further on, the lagoons of Raiatéa, Wahiné and Bora Bora... In four days we could be there leaving behind the icy waters of the South Pacific," considered Peyron perhaps dreaming of the ability to stop in these Pacific paradises en route to Cape Horn.

Orange is celebrating her entry into the South Pacific with a complex equation to solve; a low is deepening to her north and is moving exactly along her route. The maxi-catamaran should be able to overtake a warm front today, however this will result in a drop in the wind for a short while.

The team are on port tack heading northeast. Peyron and his boys are watching their speed tumble. Fortunately it shouldn't be too long before the team see the wind strengthening while shifting to the north, then further to the north-west. It will then be time to dive south again and take advantage of a following swell to accelerate.

Orange's crew will juggle with tricky weather conditions in their quest for a purer and straighter track. By sticking to the warmer sector front, Peyron's team will be avoiding the passage of squalls and will maintain a good average speed. It's up to them to escape from the calms of the ridge.

Latest logbook from Nick Moloney on page two...

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