Cheyenne is 80 miles behind the Jules Verne record set by Orange 1, Geronimo is preparing for a JV re-start and Orange could be off this afternoon

Having retired from the Jules Verne record attempt last Friday with gennaker problems see news story here Olivier de Kersauson and his team aboard Geronimo are heading back to Brest for a re-start.

Speaking from the boat this morning Olivier de Kersauson was sounding upbeat about the situation and still believes there’s time to make repairs and set off again two or three days after they arrive. Talking about the sail problem he said: “You don’t put too much strain on the sails in training to make sure they stay new. Paradoxically, they still broke! There’s no point in complaining about it, what’s done is done… There’s no point in conducting a post-mortem and we’ll soon be on our way back south again – unless fate brings 40 whales or 60 giant squid across our bows!”

Commenting on the way the crew dealt with situation de Kersauson added: “Geronimo’s crew is really fantastic. When we had to manoeuvre quickly to recover the torn sail – which is never an easy thing to do – they were absolutely faultless. Not one corner of sailcloth touched the sea. Everything was spotless. All of us are very exasperated and yet very satisfied at the same time with the way things have gone on this trip.”

Meanwhile back on the round the world race track Steve Fossett and his Cheyenne crew are continuing to stack up the miles but are not yet ahead of Orange’s time at this stage of their Jules Verne challenge. Looking at the positions at 0510 this morning, after 10 days at seas, they are 76 miles behind at a position of 422 nm due East of Cabo De São Roque, Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil. They’ve covered 220 nm over the past 12 hrs, 434 over the past day, for a 24 hr average speed of 18.1 kts.

Later this morning they will pass the notional milestone of the latitude of Cabo De São Roque at Brazil’s north-east corner, en-route to their next actual – and rather more distant – waypoint (3,100 nm away), Cape of Good Hope.

Back in Bruno Peyron’s Orange camp a decision was made not to go ahead with the proposed Sunday start because the weather window the team had been studying is building more slowly than expected. The latest situation is for a possible start later today. Keep an eye on for news as it happens.