Geronimo - out of the Doldrums

De Kersauson has taken a route far to the west

Sunday January 19th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Above: Geronimo 's track is represented by the red square - Orange 's 2002 record route by the red Xs. De Kersauson has sailed considerably further west to avoid the Doldrums

Since last night, Geronimo seems to have found some rather more sustained wind, raising hopes that she may have left the notorious Doldrums behind.

By this morning, the giant tri was making 18 knots due south. If they have indeed left the Doldrums behind, this tricky passage will have gone very well for the crew, since the giant trimaran has only had to slow her pace for 24 hours, and even then still managed to cover 300 nautical miles yesterday. Given the conditions, things seem to have gone very well indeed, thanks to the crew’s decision to take a long detour to the west to find the best position from which to enter this infamous area of calms (see the map).

It is also due to the uncanny ability of the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric watches to extract maximum performance from the boat in slack conditions. On each of her previous 8 days at sea, Geronimo has outrun her competitor and current Jules Verne Trophy holder, the maxi-catamaran, Orange (see table below). However, to put this data in perspective, Bruno Peyron was on a much more direct course to the Cape of Good Hope on his eighth day at sea.

For de Kersauson there remains the problem of how to deal with the St Helena high which at present is spanning almost the entire width of the South Atlantic. At present forecast charts show its centre to moving slowly south east. It will be interesting to see how the great round the worlder handles this.

Position 24hr distance Av speed
Geronimo 07°40S 32°11W 300nm 12.48
Orange 00°27S 25°06W 162nm 6.77

Geronimo's position at 14:00 GMT today (15:00 local time): 10°50S, 32°16W
Distance travelled in 11 hours: 190 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 11 hours: 17 knots

Day by day performance

Orange Geronimo
Date 24 hour run Av Speed Day Date 24 hour run Av Speed
03-Mar 457 19,02 1 11-Jan 472 19,65
04-Mar 472 19,65 2 12-Jan 485 20,21
05-Mar 442 18,43 3 13-Jan 503 20,96
06-Mar 472 19,66 4 14-Jan 501 20,87
07-Mar 467 19,45 5 15-Jan 525 21,88
08-Mar 373 15,54 6 16-Jan 527 21,94
09-Mar 401 16,69 7 17-Jan 419 17,46
10-Mar 162 6,77 8 18-Jan 300 12,48

Image below is the forecast for Monday's weather in the South Atlantic showing the complex system of high pressure systems which Geronimo must show how cross

The forecast chart below is for the same area for Thursday this week, showing a nice corridor of northwesterlies forming

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