The last frustrating hours

Orange is delayed by light winds - James Boyd twiddles his thumbs in Brest

Sunday May 5th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Far from romping across the finish line, flying along on one hull, the conclusion of their incredible round the world voyage will be a more sedate affair, as, quick simply, the wind has died.

The last two days they have been clocking up 400-500 mile days, racing across the north Atlantic, but this morning, while 150 miles from the line, they have fallen into a hole and are waiting for the breeze to fill in before they can get out. Saying this the giant multihulls never seem to come to a standstill fully in the same way as a monohull. They seem to be able to make their own wind even in the lightest conditions and in the case of Orange having a mast which towers some 130ft above the water will help.

Yesterday Orange's ETA across the finish line was the early hours of this morning. At present we are told they will be across the finish line between the Ouessant lighthouse and Lizard Point "sometime between 5 and 6 this afternoon - probably more towards 6".

Meanwhile here in the Port du Commerce here in Brest, Sunday walkers are strolling around the vast Orange tent on the dockside and a Breton accordion band is playing to the assembled few.

We wait.

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