Despite 50kts of wind, Olivier de Kersauson and crew are still averaging 19.5kts on their Jules Verne record attempt
After a day of struggle, Geronimo finds herself at the centre of a storm which has been intensifying since Friday night. She cannot go further north, where the sea state is even worse, nor can she go south, because of the threat of ice. The 11-man crew are trying to escape to the east-north-east, with over 50 kts of wind howling at their heels. Even in these damaging and dangerous conditions, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is still managing to average 19.5 kts.
Due to its low temperature (4.5°C at midday yesterday), the air is very dense, and combined with 50kts of wind, has quickly raised a sea that is very difficult, not to say impossible, for multihulls. Together with her special design, the exceptional level of crew involvement at every stage of the trimaran’s design and construction has resulted in a boat made by sailors for sailors. This boat is capable of holding off catamarans 20 per cent longer and more powerful than herself, but is also, and crucially so, a boat designed for the high seas. That’s the trademark of this crew led by Olivier de Kersauson, Didier Ragot and Yves Pouillaude: the development of exceptional racing craft, built for speed, even in the worst possible conditions. In the tradition of Sport-Elec, loaned to Francis Joyon this winter for his round-the-world record voyage, it is now Geronimo’s turn to step up and prove her exemplary qualities.
The fact remains that these conditions are more damaging to men and machine than conducive to pure speed. The crew can hardly wait for the end of this punishing day in which the elements will inevitably have the final word…