Orange to turn right shortly
Day 59 - 0800 GMT, 30 April 2002
Orange position: 27deg 50S 38deg 17W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 519.82nm
Compared to Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 01deg 41S 28deg 08W
Distance covered in 24 hour period: 389.1nm
Orange is 1,706 nm further down the track than Sport Elec
The crew of Orange definitely have had their foot back on the throttle for the 24 hours. No more are they limping along ensuring that the mast doesn't pop out of the boat. Instead it is full steam ahead.
Unfortunately at present Orange is heading in what appears to be the wrong direction (the north west), but contrary to the thoughts coming off the boat yesterday the cunning plan seems to have been to head as quickly as possible north to pick up the favourable westerly winds blowing along the south side of the north Atlantic depressions. As a result Orange's position this morning was considerably further west than Sport Elec's track for this part of her passage.
As soon as Orange picks up the favourable westerlies she will turn her bows towards France and from there it will simply be a question of how long she can hook into her transatlantic weather systems that will dictate how long it will take her to get to the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy off Ushant.
This morning Orange had 2000 miles to go before reaching Ushant. At 500 miles per day that will bring her in on Monday morning.
"We're beam reaching" described crewman Sébastien Josse during the chat show at lunchtime today. "The boat is passing nicely through the sea and we're proceeding at the right speed towards the Azores high. Then all there's left to do is do a tour of the parish and head back to France!"
Josse went to explain their strategy. "The game-plan is simple. We mustn't go playing too far to the east and get too caught up in the calms of the high and not go too far to the west either and extend the route too much".
"If we can rely on all the weather patterns, we'll be finishing on Sunday or Monday" forecast Bruno Peyron. "But we could get slowed down, and then we'll be finishing on Tuesday. Or, at the other end of the scale, if we accelerated suddenly, it could be Saturday..."
Peyron feels they have been fortunate to date."We have been lucky not to have trades too strong, which has meant that we have been able to beat into a not too rough sea and to make real progress on the direct route."
See Nick Moloney's on board account on page 2...