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25 February 2005, 10:24 am
Last Tack Before The Horn
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Orange II

The final counter tack and the maxi catamaran Orange II will reach the end of the Southern Ocean runway for a landing at Cape Horn before midnight this Friday evening.
The wind has swung right round to the West and is not providing the giant multihull the best angle of attack given that the boat performs less well in downwind conditions: 'We can't complain' smiles Bruno PEYRON (FRA) as he watches the speedometer hover between 23 and ...33 knots! 'We're extending the course just a little by making some big moves to change the tack of the boat with the wind on the aft quarter.'

Orange II is again on the point of adding a few extra lines to her 'record' collection. Steeped in history the famous Horn will be rounded as tightly as possible; 'It's a legendary place and everyone aboard hopes to benefit from the fabulous sight of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountain range.'

After 32 days at sea, the boat is lighter and currently reaching its full potential. Orange II will soon hang a left to begin its climb back up the Atlantic. The Horn is not a success in itself and the coming days have their share of surprises and difficulties for a boat and her crew who have sacrificed a great deal for performance as PEYRON well knows: 'In the Southern Ocean, you don't get miles for nothing. They are paid for in pain and fatigue.'

'We're going to leave the Pacific with a good 'score' being the key towards our exploits. Our downwind tack has slowed us down a little but I'm not at odds about sparing the boat a little in this way. The passage of the Horn is always a high point. Everyone aboard wants to make the most of it. A bit of light would be most welcome as we haven't seen the sun throughout the whole of our Pacific crossing. The Horn evokes a lot of memories. In 1993, we experienced it at it's worst, 80 to 85 knots of wind and 17 metre waves. It can be a very nasty place. We all know that there is still everything to play for after the Horn. Four to five difficult days lay in store for us before we rediscover the more 'civilized' countries. We will be slowed on the approach to Brazil and we'll make the most of that time to give the boat a good going over.'

Orange II Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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