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Around the world in 64 days?

After days of nursing their damaged mast step, sailing cautiously to windward to minimise slamming and going a long way west to pick up free winds, maxi-cat Preventative repairs have been made to reduce the chances of dismasting if the bearing breaks. A system of greasing the ball support has been established. It is believed that lack of grease may have been the original cause of the problem.

At last Orange's crew have managed to nurse the maxi-catamaran around the Azores High and are speeding at 30 knots directly towards their target, the imaginary line between Ushant and the Lizard, now less than 1,000 miles away. Currently enjoying SW winds, soon to veer to NW, their only remaining fear, other than the damaged mast bearing, is the possibility of light airs for the final few miles.

The current Jules Verne record, set by Olivier de Kersauson's trimaran Sport Elec, stands at 71 days and if the weather pattern remains stable Orange could well knock 7 days off this time. In the last 24 hours Orange covered 523 and her crew are already looking forward to getting ashore - that mast step permitting. The mood on board is upbeat and a Sunday finish, 7 days ahead of the existing Sport Electric record, looks increasingly likely.


5/5/2002

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