Sea, Sail & Surf

From offshore to inshore: all the news abouts sea sports from 2000

Jules Verne Trophy

Orange faces to the St Helena high

Monday 11 March 2002

It’s filling a little in the centre and shifting to the west to come back even stronger to the east closing the door to the South Atlantic today to better centre itself between the African and American continents the day after tomorrow... This Saint Helena high knows how to tease and complicate the situation. The maxi-catamaran Orange is going to have to choose: should they risk it to the east and cut through the ridge of high pressure on pain of beating to windward for several days, or should they gybe their way along the South American coast in light airs, struggling along the edge of this ridge?

With 433 miles notched up in 24 hours 24 hours 24 hours best distance covered records at an average speed Speed #speedsailing of 18.06 knots at 1200 today, the maxi-catamaran Orange has recovered its giant appetite. She is currently slipping along at more than 20 knots with a single reef in the main and staysail and is 400 miles to the east of Recife (Brazil). "We’re close reaching at the moment in a good 25 knot south-easterly" said Benoït Briand during the radio bulletin. "It’s very wet and its quite hot, but it’s impossible to leave anything open. On deck, everyone has his idea on how to dress. There are those in full oilies and bare feet, and others in shorts with an oily jacket. There’s a bit of everything!" And while the maxi-catamaran Orange is on a SSE heading (193°), we can see that she is slipping along the South American coast and that she will be skirting the Saint Helena High to the west. For information, in the Southern Hemisphere, the winds turn anti-clockwise. So if the maxi-catamaran Orange wanted to skirt the high to the east, she would have to beat in light airs, whilst if she skirts to the west, she will still have light air, but she will be able to reach. "The situation is not as bad as we thought yesterday" declared Gilles Chiorri at 1300 today. "Yesterday, the high literally barred the way to the Deep South, today we can see that it is leaving a possible door open to the east and to the west. Now we know that maxi-catamarans are absolutely no good beating in light airs. So beating for several days in light winds is not a good idea. It would be better to skirt round to the west and multiply gybes, even in light airs, knowing that we should be picking up the succession of major lows below 30° South". "We did a giant slalom multiplying gybes in the North Atlantic" put in Bruno Peyron "now we’re going to do the same in the south. But this place has the reputation of being very fluctuating and the situation can evolve very quickly. You have to be on the ball and it’s never simple!" On the other hand we can see the train of lows down below, and they’re quite something..."The maxi-catamaran will be discovering this Deep South in three or four days time.

Reading for all...

"I didn’t even know I was sitting on them!" said Bruno Peyron at 1300. On what? Well the little presents prepared by the Shore Team for the crossing of the Equator? Each member of the crew had a book to brighten up his leisure time. Like a cookbook for Jean-Baptiste Epron in charge of stores, a book on mechanics for Sébastien Josse in charge of? mechanics, a weather dictionary for Gilles Chiorri and so on... "It was a breath of fresh air for us" said Benoït Briand "and it was really nice to see each one discover their little present!"

Did you know:

Chasing weight is omnipresent on this type of boat. And when you have to save some weight, the personal effects of each member of crew are of course reduced to their simplest expression. For instance, on the maxi-catamaran Orange, each member of crew was allowed 25 kilos of personal effects, including their sailing clothes...

Pierrick Garenne / Mer & Media Media #media / Orange

Voir la carte du tour du monde : Geronimo vs Orange

Head news