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27 January 2005, 03:00 pm
Canaries In Her Wake
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Orange II

As Bruno PEYRON and his weather team expected, passing through the Canaries proved to be difficult. The maxi catamaran was slowed down considerably on her way out of the archipelago between 02:30 and 06:00 GMT this morning.
However, since then, the speed has picked up to above 22 knots.

To find a way through the Canaries archipelago, Bruno PEYRON and Roger NILSON based their plans on the weather forecast that they regularly receive on their computer at the navigation station. 'We collect the weather info every six hours' explained the skipper of Orange II on Wednesday. 'there are two forecasts for a fortnight ahead. We study these charts with Roger NILSON, then we try to find the best way through'.

This info is imported into the MaxSea programme on board, which enables them to work out the best route according to the speed capacity of the boat. Before arriving in the Canaries, the computer programme advised them to cut straight through. In the end things weren't as simple as that for the sailors, as they had to do a series of gybes to make headway between the islands and avoid the calm zones beneath each island. You can see on the trajectory taken by Orange II on our charts with positions recorded every quarter of an hour, that the catamaran certainly did not sail straight through towards the south west.

Now they are out of the maze of the Canaries, Orange II is trying to hop on to the south eastern edge of the high-pressure area to head towards the next waypoint on this round the world voyage, the Cape Verde archipelago.

Christophe Guigueno (As Amended by ISAF)
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