Back on track

Orange is once again burning up the miles towards Cape Horn

Monday April 8th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Day 37 - 0800 GMT, 8 April 2002

Orange position: 52deg 57S 148deg 53W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 558.27nm (23.27knots average)

Compared to day 36 of Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 50deg 25S 176deg 09W

Down the track: currently Orange is 826 nm ahead
(Distance between Orange and Sport Elec Day 37 positions - 1,023 nm)

Orange has been back into the groove over the last 24 hours. At 0800 this morning she had reeled off 558 miles in the previous 24 hours at an average of 23.27 knots and for an hour at lunchtime today she averaged 24.69 knots, so we can look forward to see some equally impressive figures for her tomorrow. The big cat was even heading in the right direction on a course just south of due east, necessary to get them down to the latitude of Cape Horn at 56degS.

The reason for Orange's burst of speed is the conditions. At present she is sailing in 30 knots NNWly wind and a reasonable swell. If she maintains her current pace she could round Cape Horn before this coming Sunday, which was the day Bruno Peyron last weekend predicted they would make the rounding.

Unfortunately the weather towards the end of the week does not look at though it will behave itself and there are several areas of high pressure that look set to move over Orange's direct route to the Horn. To avoid sailing upwind it will take some careful routing between on board meteorologist Gilles Chiorri and their forecasters back in France. Hopefully the big catamaran will be able to skirt to the south of these, thereby avoiding upwind conditions, but by doing so will increase the risk of her encounting icebergs, which are believed to be still prevalent in this area since the Volvo Ocean Race passed through.

See crewman Nick Moloney's on board account on page 2...

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