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Peyron less than 1000 miles from the equator line

mercredi 6 mars 2002

An instant speed of 31.3 knots at 1000 this morning, 519.26 miles in 24 hours at the 1300 position report... As hoped for yesterday, the maxi-catamaran Orange has picked up a slight shift to the east in the trades, which has enabled her on the one hand to gain speed but above all gain some westing. So Bruno Peyron and his 12 men are now on a direct heading for the Cape Verde islands some 200 miles away which they must leave to port in the afternoon. The next objective is the Doldrums, which the maxi-catamaran Orange ought to tackle in less than two days, but obviously they are already getting prepared on board...

"Yes, we’ve had this little shift in the trades to the east enabling us to luff up a bit but also to put more westing in" declared Gilles Chiorri, captain’s mate, watch leader and navigator on board. "This is allowing us to steer a direct heading towards 25° longitude west, where the entrance gate to the Doldrums we want to take lies". And while this little shift that Bruno Peyron was waiting for yesterday has materialised, it has enabled them to score some nice average speeds and distance covered. At 1300 today, the maxi-catamaran Orange had covered 519.26 miles at an average speed of 21.64 knots over the last 24 hours. "This slight wind shift has also enabled us to hand the large gennaker and send up the reacher. So we’re pointing higher and gaining speed !" Information easily confirmed when at the 1000 position report an "insolent" instant speed of 31.3 knots was recorded. "I think that the record Record #sailingrecord currently belongs to Hervé Jan’s Breton watch," said Gilles. "What are we supposed to do now ? Take 3 points off his licence or give him 3... As it’s going well today, we’ll congratulate him !"

And while the trade winds are well and truly present, they should back to the north-east in the afternoon, which should oblige the maxi-catamaran Orange to hoist her big gennaker again without however penalising average speed. The north-east trades are now set fair (20 knots) and should whisk them along another 700 miles yet. From there on, the maxi-catamaran will be entering the infamous Doldrums, this "territory of void" or this "absence" as the sailors of bygone days called it.

"Gastronomic meal yesterday evening !"

And if the miles are flying by, the men have to be fed. And it would seem that it wasn’t at all bad yesterday evening... "Yesterday evening we were treated to a gastronomic meal" continued Gilles. "And while for lunch today we had a freeze-dried couscous, yesterday evening we were served duck confit and ravioli with cheddar... I can tell you, they licked their cans clean !" Finally, on the health front, all is well because the two "nurses" on board, Vladimir (Dzalda Lyndis) and Benoït (Briand) are obliging everyone to take their vitamin and mineral supplements to compensate for any deficiency.

Quote / unquote... :
- Philippe Péché : "I’ve been picking up my old habits on board (editorial note : Philippe took part in The Race on Team Adventure with Cam Lewis). In fact I’ve taken the same berth that I had on the last time round and I’ve rigged my little clothes line on which I hang my things to dry. Ah... When one gets old, one tends to get set in one’s ways !"
- Gilles Chiorri : "We might be in warmer latitudes, but it’s quite acceptable especially as it can get quite damp from time to time. A short while back, the companionway hatch was slightly open and all of a sudden it started to resemble the Niagara Falls !"

Pierrick Garenne / Mer&Media / Orange

Map : Geronimo vs Orange

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