Despite previous optimistic forecasts, the Doldrums have been well and truly in place across the route of Geronimo since this morning
Despite previous optimistic forecasts, the Doldrums have been well and truly in place across the route of Geronimo since this morning.
This infamous area of calms has certainly shrunk, but less than was predicted and is spreading generously across the full width of the Atlantic. It is not exceptionally wide north to south, but the trade winds are very slack on both sides of the Equator.
From 4°S to 4°N, the wind is 12kts at best, all of which adds up to a new obstacle every bit as formidable as a large Doldrums. So, at almost every stage of this round-the-world attempt, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran has encountered the worst possible weather conditions.
The crew is consistently getting the absolute best out of the trimaran at every gust and oscillation of the wind, as can be seen from the Inmarsat data, which shows actual speeds that are consistently higher than the wind speed (12 knots with 8 knots of wind at 11:00). Absolute speed remains Geronimo’s only weapon against her climatic bad luck.
Position day 53
GERONIMO (Cap Gemini / Schneider Electric)
04°49S – 30°50W
445 nautical miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 18.50 knots
Distances to the Equator
Geronimo: 293 nautical miles (at 30°W)
Orange: 449 nautical miles (at 30°W)
But only 70 nautical miles from the longitude at which she actually crossed the Equator (a long way east at 23°W)
Cheyenne: 1,285 nautical miles ahead