On track for the Horn

Geronimo forges on - now more than half way across the Pacific

Sunday February 16th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Day 36 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel distance
Geronimo 52°34S 129°18W 454 18.91 +1035
Orange 51°42S 163°58W 316 13.18 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT: 53°08S, 123°338W
Distance travelled in 12 hours: 208.07 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours:17.34 knots

Geronimo is still flying across the Southern Ocean and is at present just over half way between New Zealand and Cape Horn. She is still 2-2.5 days ahead of Orange's record, although we can expect this to go down slightly over the next few days - Orange was on fire at this stage of her record and put in four consecutive runs in excess of 550 miles including one of 603 miles.

At present Geronimo is sitting on the back of the high pressure ridge between two depressions, prior to be picked up by the depression to her southwest sometime in the next 24 hours. Forecast charts show this depression merging with a weak tropical depression to the north over the next few hours bring Geronimo northwesterly conditions that are likely to take her all the way to Cape Horn, 1,900 miles (4-5 days sailing at her current progress) away at 56degS.

The continued presence of ice still blocks any hope of getting further south, especially at night. Further to the north, the wind has little power, so the crew continues to have to compromise the precious advantage they have accumulated since the start of this record attempt. The Southern Ocean is decidedly mediocre this year, offering no opportunity for long days of gliding progress, due to the lack of wind, confused seas and the presence of growlers.

"That’s what I say to myself when things aren’t going the way I’d like them to, which is exactly the case at the moment. For the last three days, this b….. of a wind right on our track means we’ve had to gybe all the time. But better this weather than no weather at all: Grrrrrrrrr!”, said skipper Olivier de Kersauson yesterday evening.

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