Geronimo has broken the Ushant to Cape of Good Hope speed record
Geronimo has broken the Ushant to Cape of Good Hope speed record. Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew aboard the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric trimaran has set a new record of 16 days, 14 hours, 35 minutes and 26 seconds and in doing so has established a two day cushion over Bruno Peyron’s current Jules Verne challenge.
However, despite this record and the Equator record they set on 17 January, Olivier de Kersauson is remaining optimistically cautious! “There are some absolutely filthy weather systems on their way towards us, so it’s going to have pretty difficult for us to make much headway south. The way south is obstructed by very northerly depressions. It’s impossible for us to get the run we need to dive south to the latitude of the Kerguelens and really get going. The course ahead looks pretty tortuous for at least 1,500 miles. It’s not going to plan and I don’t like weather problems in these places, because they’re usually very bad news.
“The boat is impeccable. We’re keeping a very close on her because we know only too well how long this course is and that a trimaran like Geronimo can resist a certain amount of stresses and strains, but not too many. There is always this kind of torture between wanting go faster and the need to protect the equipment so that we still have a boat in racing condition when we round Cape Horn. It’s pretty frustrating psychologically because there are times when you just want to give the boat her head at any price, and others when you know that every time you really push hard and hit bad weather, the boat suffers. These difficult decisions make life much more difficult compared with our progress south through the Atlantic, which was absolutely as the weather forecasts predicted – and fun as well.”
According to reports from the boat this morning Geronimo will encounter some very rough conditions with wind speeds expected up to 50 knots in the next few hours. “But it’s not the wind speed that concerns us,” added Kersauson “it’s the lousy seas that the wind whips up here. Since this morning, we’ve had a completely crazy beam sea that’s been really choppy and breaking fairly high, despite the fact that we haven’t had any wind above 30 knots.”
Position at 03:00 GMT
Latitude, Longitude, Distance in 24hr, Average speed
22°32E, 470 nautical miles 19.6
Orange, 38°14S, 00°20W, 532 nautical miles, 22.15