The consequence of staying north is beginning to take effect aboard Geronimo but at least the crew are away from the growlers

Olivier de Kersauson and his 11-strong crew aboard The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran are now closing on the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope. They are 657 nautical miles ahead of Bruno Peyron’s record and yesterday recorded over 25kts of boatspeed during their first full day in the Southern Ocean.

However, reports from the boat show that the decision to stay north of the Antarctic convergence for reasons of strategy and safety is now starting to take effect. Geronimo is now inside the high pressure region, where wind speeds are falling.

Olivier de Kersauson is holding firm to his resolve to avoid seeking speed at the risk of finding himself amongst icebergs. Many of the crew still have clear memories of when the trimaran Charal lost a float in a growler field in 1993 not far from their current position. And anyway, sailing amongst such hazards means reducing speed to such an extent that any advantage is lost. Wise counsel therefore prevails and the hierarchy of priorities remains unchanged: bring home the men first, then the boat and, finally, the trophy.

The anticyclone they have skirted around through the Southern Ocean is not expected to move any further south; its edge is currently at between 42 and 43° south, just north of the trimaran’s track. The high pressure area should move off east towards the Indian Ocean, where it is forecast to split in half and disperse.