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15 March 2005, 09:19 am
Like Clockwork...
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Orange II

At an average of 26.6 knots, the maxi catamaran Orange II is continuing her march forward towards the finish - forecast in a little less than 24 hours time.
The southerly wind, which is bringing a welcome mildness across France, is pushing Bruno PEYRON (FRA) and his 13 crew along at a cracking pace. The sailing conditions are ideal and, on this home straight negotiated under two reef mainsail, trinquette and small gennaker, Orange II is gliding along safely.

The scenario described by the skipper over recent days is panning out with perfect timing. At the latter part of the morning, the world's fastest ocean-going multihull will enter into the Bay of Biscay, with a passage of the finish line off Ouessant during the second part of Tuesday night. It will come and moor in Brest's commercial port tomorrow morning, Wednesday, having improved on the record by over a week, in a race time of around 50 days and 15 hours.

PEYRON at the 0400 GMT radio session: 'You have to savour the last few miles, the last few hours. The daily life on land will soon catch up with us and there's nothing we can do about it. As a result it would be almost criminal not to make the most of these magic moments that we're experiencing today. They are all too rare to have the right to miss them. When I go up on deck it's pure pleasure. Everyone is content, happy. It's so good to see the look in the eyes of all the crew. There is no need for a long speech to understand what is happening between us. In principal, we are 24 hours from the finish. There is a regular 30 knot airflow and the sailing is good. We are gliding along in complete safety. We couldn't have dreamt of a sweeter note to end on.'

References:

Day at sea: 50th
Date: 15 March 2005
Time (GMT): 0430
Latitude: 43 52.84' N
Longitude: 17 34.60' W
Instantaneous speed: 29.4 knots
Instantaneous heading: 40
Average speed: 24.8 knots
Speed over 24 hours: 26.6 knots
Distance over 24 hours: 640 nm
Speed since the start: 22.1 knots
Overall distance: 26,398 nm
Distance remaining: 585.10 nm

Gaps on day 49:

J.Verne record: +3,826 nm (ahead)
Outright record: +2,843 nm (ahead)

Event Media. Image:© Gilles Martin-Raget
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