Life just getting harder

Geronimo struggles in the face of light headwinds and forecast fog

Tuesday March 18th 2003, Author: Grands Records, Location: Transoceanic
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran has continued her slow progress towards Brest with just 8 knots of wind from the North, which later slackened to 4 knots from the North-East. Forced to head for La Coruña rather than taking the direct route, Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew hope to pick up the south-south-easterlies circulating at the edge of the high pressure area to make the tip of the Brittany peninsula on Wednesday morning.

In this exceptional weather pattern, they continue to exploit Geronimo's full potential, but with two new hazards: fog and close proximity to the shipping lanes used by cargo vessels and oil tankers. It seems that the agony is set to continue right up to the finish line off Ushant…

During his radio bulletin at midday today, the skipper was still hopeful: "This is the last attempt we will make to pick up the thalweg off the Spanish coast: the final meteorological attempt of this round-the-world voyage, although I don't know if we'll succeed. The worst doesn't always happen, even if it looks as if it will. Our actual arrival time will depend on whether the wind turns or not. If Geronimo has to work with the 8 knots of wind we have at the moment, we won't be in Brest before Wednesday, even though we could catch the flood of the spring tide. Let's just hope we get some air!".

At 15:00 GMT Monday, the wind had still not changed and had dropped to below 4 knots.

At 12:00 GMT Monday, Olivier de Kersauson and his crew were 443 nautical miles from the finish line.

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