Bruno PEYRON was a bit on edge during his radio link-up yesterday because of the very high speed Orange II was flying along at. 28 knots, 30 knots, 35 knots and peaking at 38 this lunchtime. Clearly the giant Orange II was swallowing up the miles and widening the lead over his virtual competitors. You can judge for yourself: an average of 32.3 knots at 14.52 GMT, 623 miles covered over the past 24 hours at an average speed of 26 knots. Orange II has been maintaining a speed of almost 21 knots since the start off Ushant. In just 11 days, Bruno PEYON's crew will have reached the latitude of Cape Town (South Africa). If the boat keeps up this pace, by the Cape of Good Hope the lead over the Jules Verne Trophy time and the absolute round the world record could well exceed 3 days!
Over the past two days, the boat has stepped up the pace a little to reach a front off to their south east. There were heavy, crossed seas and variable winds forcing them to increase the number of manoeuvres. Since Wednesday Orange II has been on a perfect trajectory. The boat is on the route as the crow flies, so the shortest route possible. On board, the crew is getting ready to tackle the deep south.
Orange II managed to hop on to this little front that Bruno PEYRON and Roger NILSON (navigator) had been aiming at since before the start. The decision to choose a departure time, which meant losing a few hours in the North Atlantic, is paying off today in the South Atlantic. This system should now offer the boat a westerly flow. Afterwards, in the southern weather systems Orange II's trajectory could well continue until the Crozet Islands, located between the Prince Edward Islands and the Kerguelens.
Bruno PEYRON: 'Speed: It's a bit tense, as we're going so quickly, between 28 and 30-35 knots with peaks around 37-38. We're probably going to have to
reduce the amount of canvas fore, as we cannot keep up this pace. We're going to ease off a little, when we enter Deep South mode, as we can't keep pushing the boat like this, when the goal is to get her around the world.
Technology: It's fascinating to see the progress that has been made with the technology, and how our understanding of the sea and the weather has improved. It's really impressive to experience these speeds, but now we're going to have to adapt human beings to this technology. We're going to have to find a way to ensure we get rest and are able to sleep at 35 knots.
At night: There isn't any big searchlight on the boats. When there is a full moon, it's perfect, but when it's dark and you have 1350 sq.m of canvas hoisted, the chap at the helm needs all his wits about him to avoid making any mistakes. The instructions on board are quite simple: quickly, but safely. Each time, we have to find an intelligent compromise between speed and safety. There again, there is enough experience on board the boat for everyone to express themselves in their own way.
The Deep South: We're on the eleventh day of the race and we're already at the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope. Tomorrow we'll reach the islands of Tristan da Cunha, the gateway to the roaring forties. We shall be visiting our friends, the albatrosses. The strong winds and the heavy swell are just beyond. There is no transition. The change is going to be very sudden.
Breaking the speed limit: This morning we reached 38 knots! At the moment, we're at 32.5 knots. Sébastien Audigane is at the helm. With our two new rudders, it's going much better than last summer. We were faster during the Mediterranean record, as we reached a peak of 42.7 knots, but this boat is not a dragster. It's a 4x4 capable of achieving speed on the tracks. She rides high in the water and is powerful.
Temperature: This morning at five, two or three crazy people took their final shower. Tomorrow, everyone will be in warm fleeces and the gloves will be on in a few days
Day : 12 - 02/04/2005 10h 00 GMT
Latitude : 31 41.56' S
Longitude : 21 56.48' W
Speed over 24h : 24.6 kts
Dist. covered in 24h : 591 nm
Speed from start : 20.8 kts
Dist. from start : 5504 nm
Dist. to finish : 19294.80 nm
Distances in the 11th day :
- record J.Verne : +982 nm (lead)
- absolute record : +1013 nm (lead)