Orange speeding toward Brit record
COWES, Isle of Wight, England -- Maxi-catamaran Orange is 100 miles ahead of the Round Britain record pace after three days at sea.
Skippered by Bruno Peyron, Orange had lost 70 miles off the pace by the second day, but recovered to be well ahead of schedule by Thursday.
Peyron is attempting to break the record set by American Steve Fossett in 1994 of 5 days, 21 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds, at an average speed of 12.67 knots.
Orange must cross the finish line off Ventnor on the Isle of Wight before 06:04 am local time on Sunday, August 18, to break the record.
Having had to average 13 knots to break the record, Orange was reaching speeds of 20-25 knots on Wednesday.
The crew reported a stormy night of strong winds from 35 to 40 knots and an angry sea that has now pushed the giant catamaran at least 12 hours ahead of the record.
"It's pretty wet and wild. We've been pushing the boat hard since yesterday. Neal (McDonald) claims that we even topped 42 knots at one point," said Peyron on the early morning radio call.
"What an exciting but busy night -- lots of reefs in and out. The flat water however, has allowed us to reach tremendous speeds that have eaten up the lost miles," McDonald said.
The forecast as they head down the east coast of Britain is for strong southeasterly winds, changing to south-westerlies, precisely the direction they are heading.
The catamaran does not perform best in upwind sailing and the tacking back and forth will add extra miles to the record attempt.
The shortest distance for the Round Britain is 1,781 miles.
MacArthur buys Orange for Jules Verne bid
June 6, 2002
Peyron smashes round-world record
May 8, 2002
Orange ahead of Jules Verne record
April 15, 2002
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