Southward bound

It's stop-start for Orange in the South Atlantic

Saturday March 16th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 0700 16 March
Lat Long Last 24 hours Sailed Speed last 24 hrs Instant speed
ORANGE 33°40S 24°13W 388,58 m 5850,50 m 16,19 kn 17,1 kn
SPORT ELEC 16°01S 26°20W 320 m 4063,9 m 13 kn nc

Orange is now freeing herself from the clutches of the St Helena high, but it will continue to be fast-slow-fast for the next 24 hours due to their unusual easterly track across the South Atlantic which looks set to take them close to the out of the way British outpost of Tristan da Cunha.
"We're going to have to suffer the passage of the anticyclone today," commented Bruno Peyron, Orange's skipper. "As soon as the wind and the sea offer us a good angle of attack, we will be descending further south. It's the price to pay. The temperatures of the water and air have cooled off. We're about to start another rhythm of life, with the speed, the cold and the discomfort of a boat that will be surfing sometimes rather brutally on the ocean!" "We're doing 25knots on a course of 135 with the med gennaker up and 1 reef in main and staysail on starboard gybe," reported Orange's Australian crewman Nick Moloney. "The wind should go further forward through the front and should be close reaching tomorrow before winds fading as we journey through yet another high pressure."
The crew have been using the light conditions to get the boat ready for the forthcoming weeks they will spend driving the big cat hard through the Southern Ocean.
"This morning the end caps broke off a custom headboard carriage we had made and one of the rods fell out. Pepeche found it on the tramp..." contineed Moloney. "We dropped the main for four hours, had one reef in at the time so Florent went aloft to clean up damage track in that position and Yves and Ronan made some new carbon end plates and we were back in business"

Monday should see Orange getting into the strong westerlies.

Rookie round the worlder Yves le Blévec, who was one of the front runners in last year's Mini Transat gave his perspective. " Orange is impressive. Last November it took me 30 days on my Mini to reach the Equator, compared to a little over seven days for Orange. The boat is demanding and compels us to a lot of maintenance, but in the end we soon forget about her size. She remains in effect a human sized boat. And in addition, I'm really enjoying sailing in such great company. The Southern Ocean is exercising on those, like me, who have no knowledge of it yet, a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. I know that the next three weeks are going to be extraordinary..."

Sorting out the mainsail...

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