Geronimo could still win the Jules Verne Challenge but an outright round the world speed record is looking unlikely
While Geronimo’s attempt at the Jules Verne Challenge is still looking promising, comparing her position at this point in the challenge to Orange 1, she still has a lot of work to do if she is to match Steve Fossett’s recent World Speed Record of 58 Days 9 Hours 32 mins 45 secs see news story here.
According to reports from the boat this morning, on day 49 of the challenge, Geronimo was 1,600 nautical miles from the Equator putting her 520 miles ahead or Orange 1 but 1,000 miles behind Cheyenne. On the equivalent day in 2002 (19 April), Bruno Peyron and his crew on board Orange 1 were 2,120 nautical miles away from the same point. At 05:10 GMT on 27 March this year, Cheyenne completed her 49th day at sea 571 miles from the Equator.
She is currently heading up the Atlantic close-hauled but the inability to hug the coast of Brazil too closely because of a counter current is losing her precious sea miles every day. To make the most of the Trade Winds however, she needs to head east soon.
It still seems likely that the Doldrums will shrink dramatically towards the end of this week, which would be good news. At the moment, the Doldrums cover an area larger than France. De Kersauson said: “The trade winds are weak, gusting only to 10kts. On the other hand, if they were stronger, we’d arrive at the Doldrums too early… So perhaps nature knows best after all!”