Since her launch on 22 December, the maxi-catamaran Orange II has been tested at sea in the perspective of the Jules Verne Trophy attempt.
The boat has returned to the shipyard for a week at the beginning of January for a few technical modifications, and is currently carrying on a set-up and optimisation process.
Bruno PEYRON : "We sailed recently in stronger wind and sea conditions, in order to validate the choices made for the sail plan once and for all. We also had to finish working on details of the deck layout, on the mast foot and on deck hardware. The first technical evaluation is positive, everything is going well as far as structure, sails and deck hardware are concerned. There's still a bit of work to be done on the deck layout, and we need to optimise the rudder systems, as well as the rudder blades".
"The boat sails well and fast... I reckon she's faster than Orange 1 upwind, and her passage in waves is very satisfactory. It's the result of all the work we did on the hull shapes and on the overall power potential with Gilles Ollier's team. This catamaran seems to be cleverly designed, her dimensions are bigger then her predecessor's which makes things a bit tougher - but that's not surprising for such a big boat... I've always said that a boat over 50 feet is a challenge for a crew of little bipeds like us, so with this one, we've reached another dimension! It takes method to sail it properly, because with such a powerful, heavy and fast machine, no mistakes can be made... We have to be cautious! But I'm not worried, a lot of time can be spared on our learning curve thanks to the fact that an important part of the crew has already sailed aboard Orange 1. To make a boat this big race-ready in 6 weeks is not an easy task, and the only way to achieve that is to work with people who know each other and bring complementary expertise.
14 places on board
The crew selection process set up by Bruno PEYRON is faithful to the values he defends: human qualities, technical abilities, and experience sharing. " If we respect that, we'll have a homogenous group which will work smoothly. One must not get his priorities mixed up. The team that was with me in 2002 is of course has priority, I think that's just fair from a human point of view. The story was great, so everyone deserves to have a place onboard once again. That said, some of the guys will not be able to join us for schedule reasons, and I respect their choices. We'll have to replace them... But anyway the list of names outnumbers the places we have onboard".
Bruno Peyron also announced that the boat should be at the Lorient technical base by next week. The base was formerly occupied by the Défi Français (America's Cup French Syndicate). From this date, the catamaran will enter her final preparation phase and should be on stand-by from 15 February.
Last Minute : the boat's christening ceremony will take place on February 11 in La Trinité sur Mer.