After 54 hours in port Geronimo was repaired and ready for the off this morning

It was a still, summer morning in Fremantle, Western Australia when the massive trimaran Geronimo was towed out of the harbour to resume racing the Oryx Quest 2005. The water was flat calm, the towering mast reflecting on the glassy surface, and a thin line of bubbles the only wake as a Fremantle Yacht Club launch and a couple of RIBs manoeuvred the boat out to open water.

The Cuben Fiber mainsail was raised, a large headsail hoisted, the tow lines dropped, and the boat heeled slightly to a new breeze as de Kersauson pointed the bows south. After 54 hours in port Geronimo was repaired and ready for the tough sailing ahead. “It is going to be hard to catch up,” de Kersauson said as they left the dock. “We are almost 3,000 miles behind the leaders.” Then he smiled, his eyes sparkling with anticipation. “But this is a yacht race and anything can happen.”

De Kersauson and his crew now embark on one of their toughest challenges. They trail the other yachts in the race by a large margin which means that they will be playing catch-up until the finish in Qatar. For a team accustomed to being at the front of the pack setting new records, it’s going to be a little different to be trailing the fleet. They will soon lose sight of land and plummet south into the Roaring Forties where the giant trimaran will come alive again and Olivier will be back in his true element.