Cape Horn to port

An end to the extreme Southern Ocean sailing...

Saturday April 13th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: Transoceanic
Day 40 - 0806 GMT, 13 April 2002

Orange position: 56deg 14S 68deg 28W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 544.59nm (22.7 knots average)

Compared to Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 59deg 08S 121deg 12W

Down the track: currently Orange is 1663 nm ahead of Sport Elec

At 1028 GMT the maxi-cat Orange rounded Cape Horn. This is some four days ahead of Olivier de Kersauson's time on board Sport Elec five years ago.

The team can breathe a sigh of relief as she leaves behind the harsh environment of the Southern Ocean. It's onwards and up to warmer climbs for the rest of the trip.

In foggy, rainy, conditions the team rounded the Horn. It was apparently an emotional moment on board with everyone up on deck. "It's a moment of mixed feelings," admits Peyron, skipper of the enormous catamaran. "There's the relief of leaving the stress of the Southern Ocean behind and a sense of humility for those who have gone before us."

For the first time in 42 days, Peyron allowed an air of satisfaction to come through in his voice. "We've said it before but I'll say it again. Our course through the Indian Ocean was truly chaotic. The Pacific turned out to be the right place to attack. For the last eight days we've really stepped on the gas."

The team have been sailing 600nm days, an incredible distance, and have managed to peak the boat speed at 39.7 knots. "The sheer power of the Orange cat is amazing," said Peyron. "Rounding the Horn does not mean that our difficulties have come to an end. I'll never forget the rotten shaking Enza was given in 94 a stone's throw from the finish."

Though the team have a sizeable lead over the current record the race through the Atlantic Ocean will be tactically tricky. En route to the finish in Brest the team will face many testing obstacles including the Saint Helena High, the Doldrums, the Azores High, and the Bay of Biscay. Today, however, Orange leaves the tip of Latin America to sail east along her southern coastline, before pointing eastwards of the Falklands to make a next bet on the weather.

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