Geronimo Round Britain

September will see Olivier de Kersauson's maxi tri make an attempt on Steve Fossett's record

Monday July 22nd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

While there have been rumours about a possible race between four of the new G-class multihull around the British Isles sometime this summer, unfortunately the chances of this happening now look slim. The only boat to confirm that they will be making an attempt - and not until September - is Olivier de Kersauson's maxi-trimaran Geronimo, freshly repaired after her rudder damage sustained during her Jules Verne Trophy attempt earlier this year and her subsequently being rammed in the marina in Brest by a singlehanded Figaro boat.

The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric-sponsored trimaran has just completed a long voyage involving some meteorological analysis in collaboration with Pierre Lasnier's company Météo Mer. Geronimo covered 5,000 miles of testing and encountered 23 different weather systems.

Although conditions were not perfect - the highest wind Geronimo encountered was 18 knots despite sailing above the 60° North parallel - the new rudder blade has performed satisfactorily, but the team must wait for more demanding conditions before it finally proves itself.

Olivier de Kersauson and his crew will start their attempt on the Round Britain, Ireland and All Islands Record as soon as the right weather conditions materialise in September. The meteorological complexity of this route makes it one of the most demanding record courses: a real high-speed keel scraper. The current record was set in 1994 by Steve Fossett with a time of 5 days, 21 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds, sailing the 60ft trimaran Lakota.

De Kersauson is aimed at winning back his Jules Verne Trophy record over this winter, but before then Geronimo will attempt the Discovery Route from Cadiz to San Salvador in the Bahamas, which Tracy Edwards' Maiden narrowly missed earlier this year. The current record time for that course is 10 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes and 44 seconds, set in 2000 by Grant Dalton on Club Med.

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