Caught in the Cross Fire of a Low Pressure System
Orange have sailed for 55 days, and have 16 days to make it back to Brest, France to beat the existing Jules Verne Trophy record of 71 days. This requires an average speed of 7.34 knots.
Orange has entered the doldrums. They are fighting northerly winds sailing between calms and squalls. It is necessary to avoid the low pressure system that builds up under Dakar.
They are finding it disappointing to compromise their route to try to protect the repair at the base of the mast. A lot of time is being spent at the Chart Table looking for the appropriate route. The plan is to find the fastest and safest route back to Brest, France avoiding upwind sailing.
The decision to head West to catch Easterly winds mid Atlantic has already been made. This will lengthen the course by approximately 25% compared to the direct route, however Orange will be closer to the West Indies if a problem occurs.