Night time start

De Kersauson embarks on his latest attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy

Monday February 18th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Steaming along at a respectible 29 knots, Olivier de Kersauson and his 11 man crew on the 110ft tri Geronimo crossed the start line for their Jules Verne record attempt at 01:25:16 GMT this morning.

Having left Brest on Sunday afternoon, the crew of the world's largest racing trimaran had been waiting calmly off Ushant since the early evening for the cold front that would be the signal for their departure. Router, Pierre Lasnier, forecast that the north-westerly wind would arrive during the night.

Founder members of the 'Tour du monde en 80 jours' (Around the World in 80 Days) association, Florence Arthaud and Titouan Lamazou, kept watch alongside Claude Breton of the World Sailing Speed Record Council at the Creac'h lighthouse on Ouessant to witness this new record attempt.

The departure of Geromino represents the first chapter in what will be a full-blown record campaign. Over four-years this programme will see Olivier de Kersauson, his crew and sponsors Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric, attack all the world's great sailing records, starting with the first, and most ambitious - the Trophée Jules Verne for the record for circumnavigating via all three capes. This epic 40,000-kilometre voyage will take Geronimo through, or around, 17 weather systems.

To beat his own record, Olivier de Kersauson must cross the finish line before 15:46:24 minutes on the afternoon of 30 April.

For more photos see pages two and three...

The famous lighthouse on Ouessant, one end of the Trophy Jules Verne start/finish line

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