Who will win?

In the next few hours all will be resolved over whether Maiden has beaten Geronimo around Britain

Tuesday September 10th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
At 0334GMT Maiden 2 was travelling at 25 knots with just 34 miles to go to make the finish of her non-stop circumnavigation of the British Isles. There was no up to date news about the whereabouts of Olivier de Kersauson's trimaran Geronimo, expect that the World Sailing Speed Record Council we expecting them both between 0800 and 1100 today - both around one day less than Steve Fossett's present record.

Like Maiden 2, Geronimo had a fast run south past Ireland regularly hitting 30 knots on Sunday night. The boat passed through a series of Mini depressions.

"At times, it put a lot of strain on the boat, with strong winds gusting up to 37 or even 40 knots. We had a few fairly hot moments, especially when we dropped the mainsheet, which was a bit stressful at the time, but quite funny afterwards", recalled de Kersauson. "We were pretty close on the wind with one reef in the main and a staysail. That's plenty of canvas at 110° to the wind." But since then Geronimo has slowed downn in 8-10 knot breeze.

"We're managing a fairly straight, stress-free track, but we could do with a bit more wind", explains Olivier de Kersauson. "We're pretty happy with what's happening and we'll arrive off the Lizard tomorrow. We've seen enormous progress in the way the rudder blade behaves. The boat shows none of her previous reactions. The helm is more direct and less demanding than before. Everything's working well on Geronimo and there's a combative atmosphere on board. Everyone wants to get on with the job. There's plenty of application and concentration, although it's true that we've had to do a lot of manoeuvres in the last 20 hours.

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