Geronimo on standby

Olivier de Kersauson's maxi tri waits to make another attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy record

Friday December 20th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
Geronimo, the giant Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric-sponsored trimaran returned to the Brest Arsenal on 4 December. Well protected against any poor boat handling on the part of others (she was rammed earlier this year!), and after removal of her engine and propeller shaft, Geronimo is fully provisioned and is now ready to leave.

The crewmembers are now waiting impatiently for the fair weather window they need to set off in pursuit of the Jules Verne Trophy. Although the Bay of Biscay poses no major problems at present, the easterlies now blowing between Gibraltar and the north of Cape Verde are not ideal for the fastest possible run south to the Equator. The Azores high is not in its usual position and the trade winds begin a long way south, which is quite unusual.

Setting off at the beginning of winter gives Geronimo the option of completing half the course and returning to Brest for another attempt if weather conditions are unsuitable. This one of the possibilities that makes the Jules Verne Trophy so special, although it is always preferable to make a good start the first time!

The boat is now completely ready. With 30,000 sea miles on the clock, her crew is beginning to really get to know her. Geronimo is therefore now on standby, which, as Olivier de Kersauson will tell you, is a tactical obligation rather than a pleasure.

This period of waiting is always a tricky time and the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric crew will be perfecting all the final details, looking forward eagerly to the daily weather reports and forecasts. Motivated and happy to be off, the crew waits impatiently for the day they can begin to attack the record set in May this year by the catamaran Orange with a time of 64 days, 8 hours, 37 minutes and 24 seconds

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