Back on the money - temporarily

Geronimo pulls ahead of Orange's record again

Thursday February 27th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic

Red square = Geronimo , red crosses = Orange . Shows Geronimo taking the direct course up the coast of Brazil, while Orange at this time was heading out into the middle of the South Atlantic. Image - courtesy of Raymarine.

Day 47 0300 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel position
Geronimo 28°40S 41°48W 412nm 17.16 +362nm
Orange 37°39S 25°31W 298nm 12.42 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT today (16:00 French time)
26°50S - 40°35W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 128 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 10,63 knots

Geronimo, the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric-sponsored trimaran is now making better speed as she heads up the Brazil coast. Better still she has picked up miles again on Orange. As the map above shows, at this stage of her record attempt Orange was heading in a more northeasterly direction.

However this may be short lived. Since this morning, Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew have once again been suffering from slack winds. It's almost as if the Doldrums have arrived early. Nevertheless, the two watches have been manoeuvring the boat ceaselessly to make the most of any light breeze that could possibly take them further north.

"A round-the-world voyage is a very uncertain thing," commented de Kersauson. "We saw an almost magical North Atlantic with really impressive weather conditions, whereas the South Atlantic was more settled. The conditions we encountered in the Indian and Pacific oceans were absolutely terrible, but together they account for 2/5 of the total distance. Normally, it's in those oceans that you clock up the miles before striking back north. For Geronimo, it's been the reverse. Conditions were exceptionally poor throughout this part of the globe. Totally unable to go as far south as we should have, we were hemmed in to the north by appalling seas.

"It has also been impossible to judge this route, which was very bad from the meteorological point of view. We know that it's going to stay bad until we reach the Equator, and that we won't find much to help us until we get there. Perhaps on the other side of it, in negotiating the St. Helena High, we would find some means of going relatively quickly. I'm not asking for exceptional conditions, just average ones. When I look at the weather pattern we find ourselves in, there's no chance of beating Orange between now and the Equator. At best we might match their progress, and at worst limit the damage", said Olivier de Kersauson.

Geronimo should cross the Tropic of Capricorn tomorrow. The southern tropic marks the southernmost position of the sun at the winter solstice (23°27 South). The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric trimaran has now covered a total of almost 21,000 nautical miles at an average speed of over 18 knots.

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