Breeze returns

As Geronimo surges away from the Doldrums

Friday March 7th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic
Day 55 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel position
Geronimo 04°41N 33°30W 204nm 8.50 +8nm
Orange 06°27N 26°42W 267nm 11.12 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT today 07°14N 34°17W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 160 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 13.13 knots

After 5,000 kilometres of calms, Geronimo, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric sponsored trimaran has succeeded in passing the 6° North parallel and freeing herself from the calms she has had to endure for the past 8 days.

"The winds are pretty decent at the moment, blowing at between 11 and 15 knots from the north-north-east," commented skipper Olivier de Kersauson. " Geronimo is following a fairly northerly track, full on the wind and making between 11 and 17 knots under solent and mainsail. There’s a small sea running and the trade winds are a bit intermittent due to the storms. Nevertheless, the boat is gliding well and allowing us to put some distance between ourselves and the Equator. Other than that, we’ve broken a Solent shackle. We’ve got quite a few little repairs to make, although the boat is in pretty good condition overall.”

Geronimo is now making steady progress north, and since she is now free of the Equatorial zone, the trimaran should now be able to pick up speed. "We’re looking closely at the route followed by the Orange crew, because we know how long it took them. But conditions are very different now. So we’re looking at the catamaran’s position every day and every hour. We should be able to position ourselves in conditions that are as similar as possible to those or are at least correct.

"As things stand, there’s no other strategic decision to be taken. The weather systems are such that there is no choice but to get as far North as possible to pick up the first westerly depression to take us to Brittany. Once we’re approaching 35° or 38° North, we’ll be able to pick up the established westerly current and be able to think about our route to Brest. For now, we have no idea how long that route will be. It all depends where the winds are going to be over the next three days," concludes Olivier de Kersauson.

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