Back on track
Day 56 - 0800 GMT, 27 April 2002
Orange position: 09deg 20N 28deg 48W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 213.27nm
Compared to Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 17deg 50S 30deg 43W
Distance covered in 24 hour period: 378.37nm
Orange is 1,583 nm further down the track than Sport Elec
For Orange the wind had veered to the east this morning allowing the 110ft catamaran to head north from the north westerly passage she has been making for the last few days. Despite this Orange has still been making relatively slow progress as the waves still have a northerly component to them.
"The positive side of the situation is that the wind angle is better now," commented skipper Bruno Peyron this lunchtime. "The downside is that we have a slight residual head sea, fairly difficult to negotiate. We're trying to slow the boat down so that she doesn't jump from wave to wave. We are still carrying the full main, but we have replaced the Code 0 for the Solent to prevent the boat from slamming".
Unfortunately the easterly wind is a temporary aberration and it is expected to back again this evening. On Peyron's mind at the moment is the positioning of the Azores High. This they plan to leave to starboard, looping around its western side in a bid to keep sailing in favourable winds.
"For the moment it's a bit too far to the left, but according to the weather models it should be moving, and as it name suggests, centering over the Azores. Which would enable us not to do too much distance and to slide along its western border". That's got to be good for the morale and the stopwatch.
"The scenery was a bit lunar last night" continued Peyron. "There was a sort of orange veil before us". It transpired that Orange had been dusted with sand, presumably transported by winds from Africa nearly 700 miles away.
Meanwhile the on board boat building team of Yves Le Blevec, Vladimir Dzalda Lyndis and Ronan Le Goff have completed the final stage of their temporary repair to the damaged titanium ball at the foot of Orange's mast. They have laminated a final layer of carbon fibre over the cowling/retainer they have made for the bearing.
The pressure will certainly be on to get home as yesterday the crew polished off their last bottle of wine with some foie gras.