Ice avoidance tactics

Geronimo heads north prior to reaching the Horn

Tuesday February 18th 2003, Author: Rivacom, Location: Transoceanic
Day 38 Position 24hr run Av speed Rel position
Geronimo 51°19S 103°24W 552nm 23.00 +832nm
Orange 54°18S 131°48W 612nm 25.49 -

Geronimo's position at 15:00 GMT today: 51°00S - 96°25W
Distance travelled in 12 hours : 263,37 nautical miles
Average speed over the last 12 hours: 21,94 knots


Having identified an area of very low water temperatures around 110° West, Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew have chosen to stay north of the 52° South parallel. This seems a wise decision when you consider that Geronimo found herself nose-to-nose with a 300-metre long iceberg last Friday, despite water temperatures of 9°C at 53°S. This berg was not picked up by satellite, although another several kilometres long was observed to the north of the trimaran's track. The only method available for assessing the presence of ice therefore remains seawater temperature. The area from 95° to 110° West and down as far as 53° South is showing surface water temperatures that are just too low for comfort.

Within the next few hours, Geronimo will reach 95° West and be able to put in a south-easterly tack to coincide with the change in wind direction forecast for this afternoon. The tropical depression should generate strong north-westerlies, pushing the waves towards Cape Horn. Despite extending her route by taking the prudent northern option, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran averaged 23 knots to cover 552 nautical miles on her 37th day at sea, making this her best day since the start of the record attempt.

While this morning Geronimo was just south of 51degS, it is interesting to note that at the equivalent longitude during her record attempt Orange was approaching 55degS.

Below: Current conditions - Geronimo's position is where the * is.



Conditions for rounding the Horn on afternoon of 20 Feb. The depression chasing Geronimo looks set to be forced south by a huge anticyclone in the Pacific

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