Olivier de Kersauson’s 110ft maxitrimaran Geronimo has crossed the Equator after creeping towards the line at an average of just over three knots for the last 24 hours
Geronimo’s Jules Verne attempt: Day 10 – 0100 GMT
Position: 0.22 S, 24.07W (halfway between Monrovia, Liberia and Recife, Brazil)
Making 17 knots south in 14-knot southeasterly tradewind on rippled sea.
Olivier de Kersauson’s 110ft maxitrimaran Geronimo crossed the Equator at 0100 hours this morning – 9d 7h after crossing the startline between Ushant and The Lizard.
In ideal conditions, she averaged over 500 miles per day for the first four days of her attempt on the Jules Verne record but as winds lightened and backed into the north, progress has been hard won. She has been creeping towards the line at an average of just over three knots for the 24 hours before she crossed.
“We had a very quick start from Brest,” said OdK.”We had the Canary Islands on the beam after two days. Since then, the wind has slowed more and more and from the Canary Islands to where we are now, we never got more than 18 knots of wind for nearly four days.
“Now we have about 5 knots. Geronimo is a very good boat in light air, we can reach 6 knots in 4.5 knots, even if we are quite close to the wind. It’s not great but it’s not hopeless either, so let’s press on.”
This has made a huge difference to her comparative progress against current record holder Sport Elec. Until the fifth day, Geronimo was progressing at more than double the rate achieved by Sport Elec. Now, ten days after setting out, Geronimo has covered 3,215 miles against 2,769 miles for Sport Elec.
According to weather router Pierre Lasnier, the unseasonally light conditions experienced during the last four days are due to a low pressure system that has escaped the Gulf of Mexico and neutralised the pressure gradients that cause the trade winds. Geronimo is now free of its effects and enjoying good southeasterly tradewinds.