The fantastic pace set on this round the world was found again yesterday, at around 1500 GMT. Since then, the maxi catamaran Orange II has covered 300 miles in half a day, which augers well for another 600 mile day or more.
The only fly in the ointment this morning is that it is impossible to follow a direct course again, with a heading that is 15° too far east. To round the archipelago and glide between the island of Florès in the north and that of Faïal to the south, PEYRON is anticipating a gybe in two or three hours time to head north again. This realignment onto a northerly heading again should be short term, prior to making for the finish line off Ouessant once more. ORANGE II's crew are expected between Tuesday evening on 15 March and early morning on Wednesday 16 March, on their 50th day at sea.
PEYRON at 0400 GMT described the situation: 'The first part of the night was starry with the sky gradually clouding over and with a barometer continuing to drop. The depression system is settling into position. We'll keep it up to the finish, even though there's still a doubt as to whether it really touches Brittany. We have 30 knots of southwesterly and we have all the sail area up, with one reef in the mainsail. We're currently trying to decide if we should pass to the small gennaker.'
'We're making a constant 32/33 knots and it's at this speed that we begin to ask ourselves this type of question. The sea is ok, even though it was crossed at times when we climbed up to the archipelago's plateau. We are having to get used to this pace again, get back into the rhythm, try to get re-accustomed to sleeping in these conditions. We are less than 100 miles from Faïal and we're going to take a left in a few hours to round the archipelago. We're going to make the move before the wind backs, which will set us in good stead for the rest of the voyage. We should finish on Tuesday, during the second part of the night. We're not going to take any unnecessary risks for nothing'.
Day at sea: 49th
Date: 14 March 2005
Time (GMT): 0420
Latitude: 38 38.64' N
Longitude: 30 04.32' W
Instantaneous speed: 30.3 knots
Instantaneous heading: 70
Average speed: 29.5 knots
Speed over 24hours: 20.2 knots
Distance over 24hours: 486 nm
Speed since the start: 22.0 knots
Overall distance: 25,744 nm
Distance remaining: 1,226.60 nm
Gaps on day 48:
J.Verne record: +3,503 nm (ahead)
Outright record: +2,803 nm (ahead)