A close duel for Geronimo and Orange II while Cheyenne clocks up the miles down south

Olivier de Kersauson’s Geronimo team, and Bruno Peyron’s team aboard Orange II, are both approaching the north-west corner of Spain with just one mile between them in this early stage of the Jules Verne.

Team Geronimo, who set off approximately nine hours ahead of Orange is still just ahead but the current sluggish wind is causing concern. However, it’s still early days and although the two boats are currently tracking similar courses, it will be interesting to see their tactical moves over the next few days as they head further south towards the Doldrums.

Meanwhile, Steve Fossett’s 125ft catamaran, Cheyenne, which started her round the world challenge nearly three weeks ago (7 February), is 780nm ahead of the current round the world record position which is the equivalent to approximately one and a half days. She had a cracking day yesterday, covering 564 miles at an average speed of 23.5kts. Their current position is 1,275nm south-east of Durban and the conditions, according to Brian Thompson, are excellent with a west-north-westerly 20kt breeze. One of their main concerns right now, however, is icebergs. They spotted their first one yesterday and are now on constant lookout.

The Polish team aboard the VO60 Bank PBH who are attempting to break the fully-crewed, non-stop global record, have finally found wind. They are currently in 20-30kts and the main problem they have is dodging the Flying Fish. According Robert Janecki, who was the first victim, it’s fairly dangerous. Commenting on the situation he said: “I remember an incident in 2000 when Roman got hit by a fish weighing 200g. I try to watch out for them. Such fish can glide more than 2m above the waves with a speed of 20-30kts. Add to that the 20 or 30 knots we are sailing in the opposite direction and it becomes quite a projectile often weighing more than 200g and which can hit you at 50 km/h. It really is dangerous. Some people have even lost an eye getting hit by such fish!”

As far as boat speed is concerned, Team Bank PBH, recorded an average of 11.2kts over the last 24 hours and covered 269nm. Their current position is: 15 46.584N 021 47.293W.