One week after the spectacular new transatlantic record of the maxi-cat "Orange II" (4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes), pictures and videos make it clear how high this record is.
The pictures clearly show that the cat's port rudder blade partially broke off after a collision with drift ice. After reaching the finish line, skipper Bruno Peyron said that they had lost about 6 to 8 hours by stopping and assessing the damage. Now he also explained what effects the rudder damage had on sailing, apart from the "speed limit" that he then imposed - 30 knots. "The cat could only be steered with an enormous amount of force, because we had to adjust the rudder more than normal to compensate for the lost rudder area on the port side. This way the helmsman tired faster and the rudder stock of both systems was in the long run much more stressed than it normally is the case. " In addition, the lack of space increased the risk of capsizing, because the crew had to react even more quickly to incoming gusts and the boat was more likely to get out of control. In view of such statements, it seems almost certain that "Orange II" would have remained well below the four-day mark without the damage. The video of the finish is available here. It is the second video from the top that also shows the damaged rudder blade at the beginning.