Approaching the Horn
Day 40 - 0800 GMT, 12 April 2002
Orange position: 57deg 42S 85deg 10W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 402.7nm (16.78 knots average)
Compared to Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 59deg 35S 131deg 18W
Down the track: currently Orange is 1380 nm ahead of the record
It looks as though the team will pass Cape Horn during daylight hours tomorrow assuming current weather forecasts hold true.
For the past 24 hours the team have been dodging growlers (mini icebergs) while hitting breakneck speeds of 23-33 knots.
At 0800 GMT this morning the team were only 592 miles from Cape Horn, passed by the Volvo Ocean Race only two months ago. "The little tropical low that we saw on the met' charts reached the point where we were expecting it," declared Bruno Peyron, before adding, "but we preferred to lift off a bit because we were jumping from wave to wave and there was no need to force things, we could've broken something."
"It's true that it's a pity our version of the Pacific Express should end like this... but we're not here for that, we're here to bring home the Jules Verne Trophy and nothing else." The team have been steering the best course to keep the boat in one piece while still pushing for the record. It's a fine balance between cautious sailing and speed.
Peyron satisfied to know his crew and "the rookies" are likely to see this famous land mark by daylight. "Of course, some of them are impatient to discover something so mythical," said Peyron, while Hervé Jan, who has passed the horn seven times before was more blasé, commenting: "The Horn for me? It's a myth that belongs to another generation... It's a compulsory passage point, that's all."
If all goes to plan the team will pass Cape Horn some four days ahead of Olivier de Kersauson's current record pace. Then it's almost a straight line toward the Northern Hemisphere and the finish line.