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Orange II off to a fine start in Atlantic record attempt

by Agence Mer & Média 2 Jul 2006 17:59 BST

Bruno Peyron and the crew of Orange II get off to a fine start

Bruno Peyron announced this morning that he would be crossing the starting line at around 11h GMT, and it was at 11h 00 mins and 06 secs precisely that the Orange II maxi-catamaran set sail off New York on her latest attempt at the crewed Atlantic record. 12 men on board to tackle this legendary record, which has been held since October 2001 by the American skipper Steve Fossett on board his maxi-catamaran PlayStation. Bruno and his men got off to a fine start as after hardly an hour after crossing the starting line the machine was already advancing at more than 30 knots. Fair wind to them.

Already racing full speed ahead

Bruno announced before the start that there would be no hesitation in pushing his machine to her limits. The tone was set in the first few minutes of racing, as the giant, which is almost 38 metres long was already sailing to the south of Long Island with an average speed of 32 knots being clocked up. The weather conditions are what they were expecting with a 25 to 28 knot north westerly, and Orange II set sail under the mainsail with one reef, the medium gennaker and the staysail.

Finishing before Friday at 4h30 GMT...

To smash the Atlantic record, Peyron and his men will have to finish within 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes and 06 seconds. They will therefore have to cross the finishing line off The Lizard at the southwestern tip of England before Friday 7th July at 04h, 28mins and 12 secs GMT.

The fastest record in the world

With the amazing time of 4 days and 17 hours, the Atlantic record is today the quickest ocean record in the world and probably the most difficult to beat. As if we needed any proof, the giant Orange II tackled the record back in August 2004 and missed out on it by just 31 tiny minutes. It is not hard to see why for Bruno Peyron, who has already held this record twice as a solo yachtsman, this new attempt at the Atlantic represents the ultimate trophy that has been missing from his list of major records.

12 men chasing after a record

There 12 men on board and already they have gone on the attack. In order to cope with additional manoeuvres arising from any complications in the weather, the skipper of Orange II decided in the end to lengthen his team list and draw up a crew of attackers, who will be divided into two watches of 6, in order to ensure that top level helmsmen are at the helm around the clock. The line-up is thus as follows: Bruno Peyron, skipper; Roger Nilson, navigator; Bernard Stamm, watch leader, helmsman; Ronan Le Goff, bowman; Jacques Caraes, trimmer, cameraman; Florent Chastel, bowman, rigging; Ludovic Aglaor, watch leader, helmsman; Jean-Baptiste Epron, trimmer, photographer; Pascal Bidegorry, watch leader and helmsman; Yann Guichard, helmsman; Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, runner; Clément Surtel, team member.

First radio report with Bruno Peyron, tomorrow at 09h00 GMT

Note down the time for the first daily radio report with Bruno Peyron at 09h GMT. This regular chat with the skipper and the crew of Orange II will take place daily, live and using videoconferencing online at The link-up will be presented by Jean Maurel.

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