Another dog slow day for Geronimo (red squares). Image courtesy of RayMarine

Another dog slow day for Geronimo (red squares). Image courtesy of RayMarine

Neck and neck

As Geronimo claws her way across the Doldrums

Thursday March 6th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic
Day 54 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel pos
Geronimo 01°40N 31°55W 235nm 9.81 +80nm
Orange 03°34N 23°18W 305nm 12.70 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT today: 02°49N 32°15W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 71.84 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 6 knots
Speed at 15:00 GMT: 9.1 knots
Wind speed at 15:00 GMT: 8.6 knots

Having crossed the Equator yesterday, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is now squaring up to the last leg home through the North Atlantic. Still becalmed in the Doldrums, Geronimo is sailing close-hauled in very weak northerly breezes of between 4 and 8 knots. "It´s pretty awful sailing. We have to get further north, metre by metre. Nevertheless, it costs us dear. The wind is right in our teeth. Before tonight, or within the next 15 hours, we have to get at least 60 miles north of where we are now. At least that´s what we´d like to do", says Olivier de Kersauson.

The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew crossed the 0° parallel 4 hours and 48 minutes behind Orange, on almost equal footing with Bruno Peyron and his crew, the current holders of the Jules Verne Trophy

The coming days already promise almost unbearable suspense. "It´s down to what happens between now and tomorrow. If we can get out of here by that time, we´ll be in a position to really fight it out, whatever the result may be. If we haven´t begun to pick up the north-easterlies within the next 48 hours, we´ll have to throw in the towel. The air is very unfavourable at the moment. It´s difficult to get any kind of result, never mind a decent result, in conditions like this. It´s nearly ten days now that we´ve had to drag along through a system of calms, the like of which I have never seen on any other round-the-world voyage! But we have to work with the wind we´ve got and fix realistic targets. The main thing is that things aren´t developing in front of us. However we´re going to try to make another degree in the next 12 hours. It´s hard to have any clear idea with a weather pattern as vague as this. After 10 days without wind, you do begin to feel a little bit impatient, but it doesn´t mean to say we´re beaten", concludes the skipper.

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