- Orange II will have taken 7 days 5h and 22mins to go from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope (new absolute record). She has beaten the record held by Steve Fossett (9j 16h, 27mn, en 2004) by 2 days, 11 h 05 mins.
Bruno PEYRON and his 13-man crew entered the Indian Ocean aboard the Orange II maxi-cat last night, in the most staggering fashion. During the past four days, it's been but an impressive race against time, the boat arriving under the cape of Good Hope in 14 days and 8 hours! Which implies smashing two previous 'intermediary' record for that portion of the course: Ushant - Good Hope, and Equator - Good Hope. 'And we're still going strong!, said Bruno PEYRON this morning during the audio chat session.
The issue today will be to find the right compromise between 'surrealistic' speeds (i.e. 30 to 35 knots) and the necessity to spare the men and the gear. Orange II is now sailing in the most hostile areas of the planet. The seas are rough, even though the Orange II 'bulldozer', as Bruno sometimes affectionately calls his catamaran, easily copes with 5 to 6-metres swells. But caution and concentration have to remain at their highest level at all times. Bruno knows that it may be a good idea to ease off a bit, and let the crew recover from their crazy weekend. 'We're under two reefs and staysail', explains the skipper, 'a bit underpowered, and the boat's doing 25 knots. The wind will pick up, it's necessary to be able to anticipate'. For the 15th day at sea, Orange II is immersed in the tough but magnificent reality of the Southern Oceans, the crewmembers are under the charm of the albatrosses and the cold lights of the Indian Ocean. Prince Edward and Crozet Islands already are the next landmarks… And Orange II is blasting towards the howling fifties.
Bruno PEYRON: 'It's my responsibility to look after the men and the gear. We pushed very hard for the past 4 days, and it's not without any consequences. It's necessary to know when to ease off, according to the level of tiredness of everyone. I can see this tiredness in certain looks… It's a question of attention and anticipation. Until now, our progression has been satisfactory, there was a trick to be pulled in the south Atlantic, and we succeeded, without endangering our safety, despite a crazy reaching session in very rough seas. We're in good posture for what's to come next. For us, the game is now to respect our weather strategy, with a total concentration. The radar surveillance is on, but we won't go and play among the ice'.
Day at sea: 15
Time (GMT): 04:48
Latitude : 46 44.84' S
Longitude : 25 46.96' E
Instant speed: 24,4kts
Instant heading: 132°
Avg speed: 25,8 kts
Avg speed over 24 hours: 24,3 kts
Distance over 24hours: 583 mn
Avg speed since the start: 22,3 knots
Distance covered: 7924 nm
Remaining distance: 16943.9 nm