Olivier de Kersauson's trimaran is currently 104.5nm ahead of Doha 2006 in the Oryx Quest 2005
After playing cat-and-mouse with Doha 2006 for ten days, Geronimo – the Capgemini/Schneider Electric trimaran – took lead of the Oryx Quest 2005 near Mauritius early this week.
Since then, the Brest-based crew have been leading the fleet ahead of their Qatar-based rivals by 104.5nm with 19535nm to finish.
Météo France’s Richard Silvani, in charge of forecasting for the Oryx Quest explains: “The next obstacle is a high pressure area to the south of them, which is now moving very slowly to the west. The two boats (Geronimo and Doha 2006) crossed tracks during the night (Monday 14 February). Geronimo is now sailing closer to the wind than Doha 2006 in an east-southeast trade wind that is averaging 20 knots at the moment.
“Once they get past this anticyclone, they should pick up some pretty strong winds. They will probably skirt the area to the west to seek out the disrupted airflow below the 40th parallel: from that point onwards, they should really be able to get going.”
However this effect will not be immediate. Silvani said: “This will only start to happen in about two and a half to three days from now, depending on how they get through the high pressure area.”
Until then, tactics and strategy will still be the biggest concern for all the crews.
On board Geronimo, skipper Olivier de Kersauson said: “It’s all turning over nicely. With 80% of the crew having been around the world twice already with Geronimo, there’s no problem. Every task is completed quickly and impeccably which makes this crew a real pleasure to work with.”