Like for the Canaries, Bruno Peyron has chosen to leave the Cape Verde islands to his leeward.
Between loosing one's wind or getting caught in a venturi effect, Orange's skipper is sticking with his general strategy and last night was pursuing a southerly route slightly curved to the west without as much as a glance at the last inhabited land posted on the route of his catamaran. Barely slowed during the night, the 110-foot catamaran Orange is maintaining her pace: more than 2500 miles under the twin transoms since Ushant, at an average of 20.5 knots. Sir Peter Blake's record to the Equator can tremble. But with 700 miles still to go before changing hemispheres, Peyron remains prudent. The Doldrums, the intertropical convergence zone will rise up before their bows tomorrow and impose and the men and their machine its legendary whims. "For the time being" explained Peyron the pragmatic, "the wind is still NNE and is pushing us at about fifteen knots. We're nice and westerly now, much more than on my last voyage with Commodore, and according to our weather files, we should benefit right to the end from a little air." To bag this very symbolic first record, Orange must enter the Southern Hemisphere before 1200 on Saturday.
Extremely technique, this first part of the race has required considerable responsiveness from the crew. As emphasized by Yann Eliès, "our very full set of foresails enables us to constantly adapt to the slightest variations of wind in strength and angle. This results in an impressive number of man¦uvres, 38 sail changes since the start."