The 110ft stricken trimaran Geronimo who seriously damaged her starboard beam last week while vying for the leading in the Oryx Quest, is now nearing Perth
Olivier de Kersauson’s 110ft stricken trimaran Geronimo who seriously damaged her starboard beam last week while vying for the leading in the Oryx Quest, is now nearing Perth.
Speaking to his shore team at 13:00 (French time) yesterday, de Kersauson explained that he plans to take things stage-by-stage: “The first thing is to get Geronimo safely to Perth, then we can evaluate the repairs we need and find out how long it will take.”
At the time of the call yesterday when they were 280 nautical miles from the Australian port de Kersauson has decided to shorten sail a little, preferring to wait for the 25/30-knot thermal winds now blowing through the bay to drop and make life a bit easier as they make their approach. They said they are “sailing on our good leg and we’ve put a carbon fibre bandage around the wound to prevent it getting any bigger. But, of course, we are more than aware that the bandage only hides the wound?”
Chatting about the plans for arrival de Kersauson commented: “We have no engine on board and the wind will be on our beam – there will be some tricky manoeuvring to get us into the marina particularly as we need 40 metres of quayside to dock. However, there’s a highly competent team waiting for us including Louis Noël Viviès who are all preparing for our arrival. Louis has had a fantastic welcome and everyone is giving him as much support as possible – the people there really understand our problem and what needs to be done.
“A tug will meet us at a mooring buoy and there will also be zodiacs standing-by. The first priority will be to evaluate the damage as soon as we’re alongside (without taking Geronimo out of the water.) Then, depending on the repairs we need to make and as long as we have heating, water and power on hand, we can cut out and isolate the beam. We will do this by putting a small and completely sealed tent around the damaged section and we can then begin to repair it. However, before we do any of that we’ll be doing an ultrasound scan of the structure to measure the real effects of the damage, the seriousness of which must not be underestimated. We’ll be doing the ultrasound as soon as we arrive. Naturally, I can’t give you any detailed technical analysis until we open it up.”
According to the shore crew all the expertise and resources required to carry out the repair job are now on hand and waiting in Fremantle. And the Sailing Operations Manager at Fremantle Sailing Club, Sébastien Destremeau, has managed to get everything together, organise all those involved and complete all the necessary formalities in record time.
Everything is now in place at the Milner boatyard ready to carry out the work and the final repairs will be done by Swiss composite materials specialist Fabrice Allaz.