Orange makes it back to France

Shore team and designers busy replacing her sacrificial bows

Sunday February 22nd 2004, Author: Benedicte Etienne, Location: France
Bruno Peyron's maxi-catamaran Orange II arrived in Lorient this morning at 0930, having taken a little more than three days to make the return journey.

No sooner had she berthed in front of the Le Défi base than the shore team was busy removing the mast and hoisting her out of the water back onto dry land. A makeshift boatyard was put in place with scaffolding protecting the fore parts of the bow sections. Already since yesterday, the boat's two new crash boxes (the extreme front of the bow, which acts as a bow fender) have been under construction in the Multiplast boatyard and have now been transported to the site.

Repairwork to her bows should take three days. By this evening, the two crash boxes (made from light density foam) should be stuck back in place, before they are shaped and laminated tomorrow (Monday), prior to being coated and painted on Tuesday. The boat's designers, Gilles Ollier and Yann Penfornis commented: "We're going to change the crash boxes on the two hulls. The two parts are already finished. They have been made from a slightly denser foam. They will thus be a little less shock-absorbent, if there is an accident, but they will also be less susceptible... ".

As far as the weather is concerned for a new start, the team aboard Orange II are busy studying any possible windows. "We'll do our utmost to be ready to start out again as quickly as possible," said Peyron. "Apparently, there is a weather pattern developing, which might be favourable for us on the 26th. It's now a race against time".

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