Orange upwind

James Boyd speaks to skipper Bruno Peyron

Thursday August 15th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
madfor sailing spoke to Bruno Peyron, skipper of the maxi-catamaran Orange about how they are getting on on their Round Britain and Ireland record

Bruno Peyron: We are to the south east of the Shetlands and our position is 59degN and 00.14E and we are slowly progressing upwind, dead upwind, but the wind has lifted a bit in the last two hours. We are waiting for another big lift to start to accelerate.

mfs: So you are trying to go slowly at the moent?

BP: We have two reefs and staysail. The wind is between 25 and 30 knots and that is the right range of sails we use.

mfs: What is it like on board going to windward in those conditions?

BP: It is very uncomfortable and the boat is jumping all the time on the waves and especially now with the 20deg lift we are just facing the waves - exactly in front of us. So it is a nightmare, but no surprise - we knew that before. We HATE upwind.

mfs: How are the crew?

BP: It is a very crew. A very good spirit as normal on Orange. Everyone is doing his work and there is no problem between the Anglo Saxons and the French. For once we are not in the majority on board, because we are 15 with 8 non-French.

mfs: How are you working the helmsmen?

BP: Some of us are more used to some conditions, like speed or the more fine tune and of course no one is trying to keep the helm if someone else is faster than them. This is nothing unusual.

mfs: Have any of the English people proved particularly good?

BP: I knew they were good. There were no surprise. I have been sailing together with Neal and Lisa before. I haven't sailed with Damien Foxall and he is very good, which is not a surprise. I think he is very pleased to be on board - and we are on the same watch..

mfs: The weather will go light again?

BP: It is very likely that we'll have the same kind of hole tomorrow as we had off the west coast of ireland. If that is the case we will not be in a good position, but maybe it'll be another situation, so we don't have to lose any miles for the moment and we try to do everything we can. The only option is to cross it. It is impossible to go round it. It is like when you have a transistion between a low pressure and a high pressure, you have some gradient because the wind is turning in the same direction, but when you have the transistion between two lows- there is nothing in between.

mfs: How is sailing down the east coast differeent to the west coast of the British Isles.

BP: The first part on the west was very much more wild. The east coast is facing the North Sea which is very busy with cargo ships and oil platforms so we'll have to be very careful with this. The last thing I didn't tell you on the wild part of this island, especially when we passed St Kilda in the fog at 25-30 knots of speed, there were birds everywhere, the sky was completely black and gusts of 40 knots.

mfs: Is this the first time you have sail around the British isles?

BP: The last time was in 1987 in the Round Europe Race and that time the navigator was also Roger Nilson.

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