100km ahead

Geronimo passes the Cape Verdes on her round the world record bid

Wednesday January 15th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Geronimo 's track. The red X represents Orange 's position four days into her attempt. Courtesy of Raymarine .

This morning at 0300GMT, four days into their round the world record attempt, Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo was 100km further down the track than record holder Bruno Peyron's Orange was over the same period.

Deprived of his liberty and the wide open spaces of North America, the great Indian chief would undoubtedly have appreciated the poetic words of captain Olivier de Kersauson whose hands control the maritime destiny of Geronimo.

As he approached the Cape Verde islands en route to the Equator at an average speed exceeding 20 knots, Olivier de Kersauson found the time to tell us how he feels about this other world; the one he feels so close to and loves so much: "We are beginning to see a spring-like light to the sky which is a delicate pre-tropical blue - in fact all the colours here are sublime. I’ve always loved these north-south legs of the round the world trip, because you travel quickly from one season to another, and as soon as you cross the Equator, you’re back in the summer light of the Southern hemisphere!

"I know nothing more breathtaking than the extraordinary beauty of this light and the days that last for an eternity, with sunsets that never seem to arrive and whole days that stretch as far as the horizon.

"The light you get here is nothing like the light in Brest or along the Spanish coast. Yesterday, it was the Canaries and today it’s the Cape Verde islands, where the wind sometimes has a particular scent and warmth. It also has a certain weight to it, as the molecular structure of the air changes. These are fantastically happy feelings.

"Being a member of Geronimo’s crew and sailing at 27 knots in a world of such incredible beauty is heaven on earth! Unlike flying, a boat gives you the time to see these seasonal changes, but not too quickly. Every day gets lighter as we approach the Equator. We’ve just left a region of the world that is spending 18 hours a day in darkness and have emerged today into the land of light. When you have the chance to compete in this sport at the helm of a great multihull in such sublime surroundings, it would be almost indecent to be anything less than content! What a fantastic experience!”, concludes the obviously delighted skipper of the grey Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran in his eagerness to share with us a few moments of a global adventure that has only just begun in the “land of light”.

Positions at 0300 GMT today

Boat Position 24hr run Speed DT equator
Geronimo 20°04N 24°06W 501 20.87 1205
Orange 21°35N 23°21W 471.94 19.66 1298

The boat's position at 15:00 GMT today (16:00 local time) 16°23N, 26°52W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 271 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 22.62 knots

Winds at the Cape Verdes at 1500GMT this afternoon showing Geronimo still in reasonably northeasterlies.

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