Level pegging

Geronimo is now neck and neck with Orange's record

Wednesday February 26th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic

Red squares = Geronimo. Red crosses = Orange. Image courtesy of Raymarine

Day 46 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel position
Geronimo 34°00S 46°52W 315 13.14 +28nm
Orange 40°21S 30°53W 384 15.99 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT today: 31°08S 43°33W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 240 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 20,02 knots

After an average day yesterday, Geronimo, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran has been averaging nearly 20 knots off the Brazilian coast for the past few hours, making the most of some reasonably sustained westerlies. However her slow progress over the last six days leaves her only a shade ahead of Orange's record pace now - although this is a fairly inaccurate figure as Orange at this stage was taking a considerably more easterly route.

"It´s allowing Geronimo to get a little further east," explained skipper Olivier de Kersauson. "The waves are disgusting, but at least we´re making good headway. The trouble is that there´s an enormous area of calm to our north. There may be a tiny mouse hole that we can get through, but we´re not entirely certainly where it is. We´re wondering how we can get out of the bloody awful position we find ourselves in.

"Nevertheless, when I look at the route to the east that we could have chosen, I can see that we couldn´t have got through, so that makes things a little easier to accept, but it still comes down to a choice of two poor routes and let´s hope that we´ve chosen the least bad.

"We´re pretty certain that we haven´t missed any potential opportunity and that there´s really nothing else to be done. Making for Cape Town to pick up the St. Helena high along the coast of Africa would have added around 2,000 kilometres to the route. It´s true that what we have isn´t great, but it could have been worse. It´s really making the best of a bad job, but we´re doing everything we can to keep our spirits up. Thank goodness that the boat is really fast in these slack winds and filthy sea conditions. Geronimo has a lot of talent, which comes from a combination of here elegance and sophistication. This trimaran can succeed where other boats would be in trouble. But for all of that, we are not travelling at the speed we would like", comments the skipper.

Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew are having to make many manoeuvres to cope with frequent wind changes and squalls. "Sail changes are being made quickly and with good humour. We´re in a very precarious weather system. Geronimo still has some good wind at the moment, but it´s impossible to say if that will hold. We hope that we can stay in this small thalweg which is heading east. It´s good for us, because it allows us to set a heading 25° off the route and get further east. We´ve already managed to stay with it for about fifteen hours and make some pretty good progress. You get the impression of gliding on a current in an airless pocket. It´s a pretty good feeling to be able to strike the right balance in this small wind system, but I don´t know how long it is going to last", concludes Olivier.

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