<b>Update:</b> Orange II passed the start line between the island of Oessant and Cape Lizard this morning at 0741 GMT. The quest for the Jules-Verne is on.
Bruno PEYRON set off on Tuesday afternoon at 15:25 aboard his Orange II maxi-catamaran, and is heading towards the western tip of Brittany, in order to reach the Jules Verne starting line (off Ushant Island) early Wednesday morning.
As planned since noon on Monday , the skipper of Orange II and his crew cast off on Tuesday afternoon from the port of Lorient. After the final goodbyes, they set sail in in brilliant sunshine towards the point of Brittany seen off by dozens of spectators. With their course set for the start line of the Jules Verne Trophy, the stopwatch should be started between 0600 and 1000 GMT on Wednesday morning.
Orange II will surge into the weather window that was spotted six days ago. "We are ready, we took the first window that presented itself."
explained Peyron. "We will have the advantage t the start of an Easterly wind of around 20 knots. Weather conditions are good and the wind should be even be getting stronger from the second day of the race. We will then be aiming at a depression centred off Portugal which we should go into in the right direction."
For those critics who think that the preparation time, 6 weeks, was too short, Peyron had an answer, "The Jules Verne Trophy is 60% won in the preparation. It is perhaps already won or lost. Nevertheless, the boat is 100% ready and the crew very focussed. I hope that we will do a good hob."
The current record time on the course (round the world non-stop, crewed) is 64 days, 8 hours and 37 minutes, and was set by Orange, first one of the name, in May 2002.
15 crew, all male, will take part in the adventure. They are : Bruno Peyron (skipper), Roger Nilson (Navigator/Medical), Halvard Mabire (Watch leader/Helmsman), Yann Eliès (Watch leader /Sails), Jacques Caraës (Trimmer/Video), Yves Le Blévec (Shore coordination/composite materials), Ronan Le Goff (Bowman/Deck hardware), Nicolas Pichelin (Trimmer / Helmsman), Jean-Baptiste Epron (Supplies/Video), Sébastien Audigane (Helmsman /Security), Florent Chastel (Bowman/Rigging), Vladimir Dzalba-Lyndis (Medical/Security), Klabbe Nylof (Helmsman / Mechanics), Nicolas de Castro (Bowman /Composites applications), Eduardo Valderas (Computer systems).