Around 36 hours ago, Bruno Peyron's 120-foot catalytic converter collided with a whale while attempting to set a world record. Despite the rudder damage, the intermediate times of "Orange II" are still clearly on record course.
After a violent collision, the team around the French skipper Bruno Peyron discovered that the port rudder had been damaged. "This is particularly annoying because we will be sailing on port tack most of the time on our way back," Peyron said in a message to his Shore crew. At the same time, however, he made it clear that the record attempt was not in danger. There was no leakage, said the experienced sailor.
It is impressive that the crew can continue to sail at speed despite the damage. And although Peyron tells his people to stop sailing at full throttle so that the cracked rudder blade holds, the Kat was sailing at over 25 knots this morning at around 10 a.m. The sailors have already passed Uruguay, and they are currently still a full eight days ahead of the intermediate times of record holder Steve Fossett, who needed 58 days and 9 hours to circumnavigate the globe with his 125-foot cat "Cheyenne" a year ago. In nautical miles, the lead is currently estimated at 2850. In front of the Jules Verne record holder Olivier de Kersauson (needed 63 days with his 110-foot trimaran "Geronimo") "Orange II" claims a lead of ten days, which corresponds to almost 4000 nautical miles.
Peyron is still confident that he will be able to crown his attempt with success. Even if he has to sail more carefully from now on due to the oar damage. Incidentally, the crew cannot install a replacement rudder. The blade of the cat is 3.5 meters long and cannot be handled at sea. In around two days, however, above Rio de Janeiro, Peyron and his team expect a zone with little wind. In the few hours in which the boat will then sail a little more slowly, the crew wants to stop the ship briefly to give a sailor the opportunity to dive and to splint the broken spot in the rudder blade with fiber mats. So that the Kat can then show its full potential on the water again.