Since her departure from the Ushant-Lizard starting line yesterday morning at 08:41 local time (07:41 GMT), the Orange maxi-catamaran had achieved an outstanding first day at sea, but is now returning to Brittany.
More than 580 miles was covered by the giant multihull during the first 24 hours with average speeds close to 25 knots and surfs at more than 30 knots, enough to illustrate the potential of this new oversize racer. After 24 hours of racing, Orange II was this morning already sailing off the Portuguese coast, having virtually overtaken Orange I (record holder since 2002).
Unfortunately, early this morning (around 06:00 GMT / 07:00 local time), as the boat was doing more than 30 knots, a technical incident occurred onboard. After consulting his crew, Bruno PEYRON decided to turn back and head for Brittany.
Bruno PEYRON commented on the decision to turn around, "what happened does not allow us to continue racing, and we're still close enough to home to come back quickly, have this problem fixed, and take another start. The real concern is that we were sailing in exceptional sea and wind conditions, downwind, and now we'll have to come back upwind against 35 knots of breeze."