Olivier de Kersauson's giant trimaran, is building pace once again refreshing hopes of its Jules Verne record attempt
Having spent the last few days wallowing around in barely any wind up the east coast of South America, Geronimo, Olivier de Kersauson’s giant trimaran, is building pace once again. Although wind speeds are still relatively light, at between 12-14 knots, the trade winds are allowing the crew to create a more consistent apparent wind.
According to a report from the boat this morning, Geronimo has been averaging over 16 knots since the early hours and, with the unsettled cloud system hovering above, there is hope the weather could develop over the next few hours. Although boat speed of 15-20 knots is not exceptional it has lifted the crew’s spirits and provided new inspiration. De Kersauson commented: “It’s a very different situation to what we’ve experienced in recent days, where we’ve been able to touch a maximum of 13 knots on occasions. It’s been a dispiriting and very stressful time. Geronimo was rather shamefaced in her glide. The wind has returned and the boat has come back to life. It’s a real change. The atmosphere is active again and we’re making real progress. We’re making real headway and the miles are clocking up again!”
The quiet times over the last few days has allowed the crew to spend time evaulating the boat. Not surprisingly, after 52 days at sea Geronimo showing signs of fatigue in certain componentsincluding the mainsail traveller. “The boat’s equipment has had a hard time, despite the fact that we’ve looked after it carefully.” Added de Kersauson, “The mainsail is in good condition, as are the jib, staysail and gennaker. It’s a bit more difficult to tell with the mechanical parts of the boat – bearings, for example. The mast foot has begun to make some awful grinding noises. The boat is certainly in racing condition, but the accumulated strain built up over three-quarters of the way around the world is really beginning to be felt. Everything has got to hold together until we cross the finish line.”