Day 61 - 0800 GMT, 1 May 2002
Orange position: 40deg 31N 55deg 11W
Distance covered in last 24 hours: 401.58nm
Compared to Sport Elec record in 1997
Position: 07deg 24S 28deg 39W
Distance covered in 24 hour period: 165nm
Orange is 1,611 nm further down the track than Sport Elec
After making the turn to the east and the home straight to the finish line Orange was forced to turn back on her course towards the USA when they discovered themselves still to be in the clutches of the Azores High.
"In this Jules Verne, we'll have tried it all!" commented Bruno Peyron about Orange's latest pitfalls of the Atlantic. So hanging a right towards Ushant had to be put on hold again. This means more miles for Orangeto sail, but as Peyron has constantly proved during this two month long circumnavigtion is that his Gilles Ollier-designed cat is one of the few boats on the planet to have such long legs that sailing extra miles does not constitute much of a problem. They simply put their foot down and rack up some 500+ mile days when the conditions allow.
Into the equation is that there is still a question mark over the reliability of the mast bearing and the fact that even if their arrival is delayed from Sunday until Monday they will still have comfortably taken one week of Sport Elec's record from 1997.
"We did well to delay our gybe to the east" continued Peyron. "The high is climbing with us and barring the route." Plans for an arrival at the finish line on Sunday have had to be rethough. "Yesterday we saw ourselves racing direct for Ushant on a single gybe" said Peyron without bitterness. "Things are getting more complicated and we won't be picking up the wind until later today."
Orange is currently sailing under full main and masthead gennaker...on port tack. If the wind shifts to the SW then they will gybe back onto starboard and line up for the Ushant finish line again.
"Smells are changing, and - something that is trivial to a landlubber - we're seeing more vapour trails from aircraft in the sky - a sign that we're closing in on the goal" commented crewman Jean-Baptiste Epron. "We're out to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record. But not necessarily to sign the reference time for the next three decades."
Peyron added to this viewpoint. "We could quite easily arrive at high speed off Ushant and get parked a few cable lengths from the line..." At present the weather does look as thought it will go light just before Orange's arrival.
On a more philosophical note Peyron added: "It's quite astonishing, but we are not really conscious of having been round the planet. We're under the impression that our world is not as big as all that. The South still has incredible purity, contrasting with our hemisphere where not a day goes by without us glimpsing the symptoms of our civilisation on the surface...