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7 March 2005, 10:04 am
High Spirits In The Doldrums
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Orange II

Back in the North Atlantic on Sunday morning with three new records to cap it off, the maxi-catamaran Orange II has not experienced any difficulties in her crossing of the Doldrums.
With less than 3000 miles to the finish, Orange II's crew still have a lead of over nine days on the catamaran Cheyenne, but must remain concentrated because 'though the hardest is behind us, the least pleasant is set to come' according to skipper Bruno PEYRON (FRA).

In fact, the very northerly position of the anticyclone, level with the British Isles and enveloping both Britain and France in a cold wave, is generating northeasterly headwinds down the course. Before reaching these upwind conditions, Orange II will have to cross through some rather disorganized depressions as it passes the Azores. For the onboard navigator, Roger NILSON (SWE), this means that they are going to have to try and find a bolt hole, or failing that the fastest trajectory.

PEYRON reported this morning at 0400 GMT: 'We haven't been slowed down by the Doldrums , [a convergence zone between the two hemispheres where the calm winds and violent squalls generally prevail - Ed]. We have managed to maintain a good speed throughout, by going where we wanted to go. There were obviously some squalls, but it was fairly predictable. As a result we didn't have to make many sail changes; we chose the right configuration with the code zero and the trinquette [the staysail - Ed]. We simply had to furl it in and unfurl it again.'

'There haven't been any developments in the situation in the North Atlantic. It's not organized at all; there are some depressions which are very far south. It's not going to very enjoyable. The hardest is behind us obviously, but the least pleasant is still ahead. It's still a little early to speak about an ETA and anything could happen with the forecast ahead of us.'


Day at sea: 42nd

Date: 07/03/2005

Time (GMT): 03h50

Latitude: 6 26.48' N

Longitude: 35 40.32' W

Instantaneous speed: 22.4 knots

Instantaneous heading: 336

Average speed: 21.9 knots

Speed over 24hours: 18.6 knots

Distance over 24hours: 446 nm

Speed since the start: 23.1 knots

Overall distance: 23150 nm

Distance remaining: 3006.40 nm

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Gilles Martin-Raget
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