Geronimo forges ahead

De Kersauson and his team extend their lead on their virtual competitor

Thursday January 16th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic
Geronimo 's 12 hourly track. The red Xs show Orange 's position at 0300 this morning and yesterday. Courtesy of Raytheon

Everything continues to go well on board Geronimo as she makes rapid progress towards the Equator. With the trade winds remaining reasonably stable, she has managed to average 21.88 knots over the past 24 hours.

The crew of the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran have moved further west to try and find the best position from which to attack the Doldrums which appears to be moving around quite a lot at the moment; a fact which concerns everyone on board. It is very difficult to predict whether the Doldrums will be predominantly to the West or to the East of this stretch of the Atlantic in two day’s time and indeed what area they may cover.

The great grey trimaran continues to extend her lead over the time set by Orange and is now some 100 nautical miles nearer the Equator than the maxi-catamaran was at the end of day five. This lead is all the more encouraging to the crew, because the time set by Bruno Peyron and his 12 crewmembers in their dash to the Equator was extremely fast at 7 days and 22 hours.

The absolute record for the southward leg to the Equator was set in 1994 by the late Peter Blake, Robin Knox-Johnston and the crew of the catamaran, ENZA New Zealand. That time of 7 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes was set in a head-to-head duel with Olivier de Kersauson and his crew of four on Lyonnaise des Eaux.

At 03:00 GMT today, Geronimo was just 760 nautical miles from the imaginary line that separates the two hemispheres. 12 hours later the big tri was off the coast of Sierra Leone, having averaged 21.23 knots in the previous 12 hours.

0300GMT Position Distance in 24 hrs Av speed DT Equator
Geronimo 12°39N 28°57W 525 21.88 760
Orange 14°21N 26°22W 467 19.45 861

Position at 15:00 GMT today (16:00 local time): 08°38N, 30°21W
Distance travelled in 12 hours: 255 nautical miles, average speed: 21.23 knots

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