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8 March 2005, 09:38 am
Hitting The Brakes
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Orange II

Orange II has hit a ridge of high pressure and will be forced to slow down in the coming four to five days. The drop in speed could cost the maxi-catamaran three days in it's attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy.
Bruno PEYRON (GBR) knew it. This climb back up the North Atlantic is not going to be an enjoyable one. This Tuesday morning, the boat speed has begun to drop off dramatically to around eleven-twelve knots, as the result of a big ridge of high pressure being impossible to round and the wind conspicuous by its absence.

The maxi-catamaran's crew has no other choice than to cross it and be slowed for four to five days. This unusual meteorological situation in the North Atlantic for this time of year may cause Orange II to lose three of its nine day lead over Cheyenne's absolute round the world record. Confidence still reigns aboard but each of them knows that they are going to have to just grin and bear it for now.

At 04:00 GMT this morning PEYRON sounded prepared for the drop in speed: 'It's gradually easing off, the wind is very light. We are preparing to spend four to five special days. The situation has not developed. We're going to have to cross through the 200 mile thick ridge of high pressure. We have no choice. It's all very complicated as the anticyclone is installing itself behind and will pass over our heads from left to right. As a result we will be going very slowly for four days. We should make 1000 miles during the four days (instead of a normal two days), which isn't going to be much fun.'

'This will be the slowest part of our round the world. Normally, the anticyclone is in position (level with the Azores) and we can round to the left of it with the trade winds below, but the whole system has been destroyed by a depression now passing across it. It remains complicated behind as the transition with the depression is not very reliable either. It could be worse. We've known for some time that this was going to be difficult. We've been preparing for it and we're doing what we have to do. All this may make us lose nearly three days.'

References

Day at sea: 43rd
Date: 8 March 2005
Time (GMT): 0340
Latitude: 13 09.64' N
Longitude: 37 21.64' W
Instantaneous speed: 11.4 knots
Instantaneous heading: 334
Average speed: 12.1 knots
Speed over 24 hours: 17.5 knots
Distance over 24 hours: 419 nm
Speed since the start: 23.0 knots
Overall distance: 23,571 nm
Distance remaining: 2,657.20 nm

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Gilles Martin-Raget
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