Yet another record

As Olivier de Kersauson's maxi-tri crosses international dateline

Wednesday February 12th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Day32 Position 24hr run Av speed
Geronimo 55°46S 177°49E 474 19.74
Orange 50°04S 147°04E 490 20.40

The boat's position at 15:00 GMT today: 55°42S 174°13W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 269 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 22,43 knots

At 06:13:56 this morning, Geronimo, Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric-sponsored trimaran set a new record for the fastest passage from Ushant to the Antimeridian. The new record time of 32 days, 3 hours, 13 minutes and 47 seconds puts them 2 days, 6 hours and 7 minutes ahead of the time Bruno Peyron set on Orange last year.

Bruno Peyron sent Olivier de Kersauson the following message of congratulation: "You've done a great job right from the start! After a magnificent leg south, you found the same turbulent Indian Ocean as we did. I've been watching the beautifully controlled tracks of Geronimo… It's a great example of the "sailor's art", as you would say. Pass on my best wishes to all your crew and make the most of the Pacific!".

This new record time has been very well received by the crew. "Now we're really on the other side of the world. In fact, the moment we passed 176° East, every metre began to bring us closer to Ushant. Up to that point, we'd been moving further away from it. It's a real turn around and we're very happy about that!", says the skipper.

Geronimo has now stopped her southeasterly path and as predicted yesterday is now heading east just to the south of the 55deg parallel. At present the big tri is riding the strong north westerly winds ahead of a depression to the southwest.

She continues to swallow up the sea miles, covering 474 on her 32nd day at sea; an average of 19.74 knots. The trimaran is currently pushing hard at over 30 knots on a wet and foggy night: "It's real 'back to school' grey weather. As things stand, it's impossible for us to go further south than 58°or 60° without risking coming face-to-face with a severe storm now to the south of us. So we're going to keep heading due East at around 56° South. We have to try and understand what's going on around us so that we don't get carried away. At the moment, the wind is much more northerly than forecast and we've been sailing under staysail and double-reefed main at 115° to the wind for a little while now. We're making between 30 and 31 knots in a rather difficult sea, but we're going to have to lift off before long. We've been going at it hammer and tongs since the beginning of the night and I don't think we can keep up this pace through into tomorrow. The boat is gliding pretty well, but with the wind that's rising now, we're certainly going to lose that. The wind is just on the turn and I think we'll be slowing down over the next hour".

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