Sub-four day crossing next, says Peyron

Orange II crossed the finishing line at The Lizard this evening at 19h24 GMT. Setting out from New York on Sunday, Bruno Peyron and his maxi catamaran with eleven crewmen crossed the North Atlantic in 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds at an average speed above 27 knots via the theoretical route. The Orange II Dream Team improved on the record set by Steve Fossett’s PlayStation by 9 hours 4 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that was said to be unbeatable. Here are some of Bruno Peyron’s first reactions a few seconds after he crossed the finish:

‘It’s immense joy…There are smiles on all the tired faces. It’s only normal as we have given it our all and sometimes in life doing your utmost is a good thing. We’re focused on what is happening at the moment. For me, that makes three Jules Verne Trophies and three Atlantic records. What I like too is the way it happened. Things went exactly as planned. The whole crew reacted just right and at the right moment. We hit a bit of ice. I think at least that that was what it was. But we reacted correctly. The boat is “wounded” but in one piece and safe, so we can be proud of our work. It all feels a bit strange. It’s as if we only set out from New York yesterday.

‘It’s a physical record that requires commitment. There weren’t many of us here. We chose to go with a total of twelve in two watches, so automatically that takes a lot of effort. But it’s a pleasant tiredness. On the circumnavigation, it’s rather different, as you have to manage things over a longer period. This time we were in the plane on the eve of setting sail and jet lag or not, we set sail immediately. Moreover we hoped we wouldn’t have too many manoeuvres to do, but we ended up doing twenty or so. We did them with the whole crew out on deck, even at 35 knots in the middle of the night in the mist, of course. When the watch “on rest” is woken up twice, it is certainly tiring.

‘We lost between 6 and 8 hours with this incident with the rudder, but really it’s not that serious, even if we know we could do better and the boat deserved better. But I’ll say it again, it doesn’t really matter. It gives our friends and enemies a bit of a chance to try and beat us? and it will give us another chance to come back and try again, even if it wasn’t deliberate.

Q: Is it possible to cut the time to below 4 days?

A: Without hesitation, yes. When we did our route planning before the collision with the UFO, this bit of ice, we were in the process of setting a time of less than four days. So, I’ll say it again: without hesitation, yes. Crossing in less than four days is possible.