Bruno Peyron's maxi-catamaran has set a new 24-hour speed record as she races across the pond

Last night, the ORANGE II maxi-catamaran skippered by the French yachtsman Bruno Peyron and his crew beat the world record for the longest distance sailed in 24 hours.

At 2030 GMT yesterday evening, Orange II had achieved an average speed of 29.29 knots since Saturday evening at 0830 and so had covered 703 miles over the previous 24 hours.

The giant continued at this pace for the whole of the night, only rarely falling below 30 knots. She may well therefore better the time of this first record.

At 0300 GMT this morning, ORANGE II also crossed the half way line, after 53 h15 mins sailing since the start back in New York. This puts her slightly in the lead, in comparison with the Atlantic record time held by the American Steve Fossett.

The 24-hr record has been held since 13th June 2002 by the British yachtsman Brian Thompson on board his maxi-catamaran Maiden II (ex-Club Med champion of The Race) with 694.78 miles at an average of 28.95 knots.

The Atlantic record: the record time for the Atlantic crossing has been held since 10th October 2001 by the American Steve Fossett on board the giant catamaran PlayStation with 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes and 6 seconds, at an average of 25.78 knots. In order to beat PlayStation’s record, Orange II must cross the finish off The Lizard, before 12 mins and 44 secs past 1500 on Wednesday, 25th August.