Geronimo is currently 26 miles behind Orange I's record at this stage of the Jules Verne challenge. She still has over eight days to go

Ever since she picked up the northern trade winds last night, Geronimo has been making good headway northwards. The 11-man Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew managed to extract themselves relatively quickly from the Doldrums by exploiting local micro-systems and keeping clear of suspect cloud formations and squalls.

Although mediocre, these conditions probably seemed relatively easy, compared with the problems of reaching and crossing the Equator. Their task now is to head due north and catch the first available train to the Azores, for an onward connection to Brittany. The crew is now very eager to get home: “They have a rather empty look about them; I don’t know if it’s fatigue, sadness or just exhaustion,” said Olivier de Kersauson this morning.

Nevertheless Geronimo continues to attack relentlessly. By the 23:00 GMT position fix last night, they had regained most of the ground lost to Orange as the result of an almost windless South Atlantic. Since this morning, Geronimo’s average speed has been consistently above 17 knots on a heading of 350°, just a few degrees away from due north.

Position day 55

05°07N – 31°01W 339 nautical miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 14.15 knots

Distances to Waypoint 2 (35°N – 36°W)

1,814 nautical miles for Geronimo

1,788 nautical miles for Orange (a lead of 26 nautical miles over Geronimo)