Grands Records: Geronimo off Brazil
Early yesterday afternoon, the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric trimaran was already heading for the north-west point of Brazil, thanks to the light trade winds now blowing from the east-south-east. At some 550 nautical miles from the South American continent, Geronimo was skimming majestically over the waves of the South Atlantic at over 15 knots. Despite the light weather conditions "that should continue for a little longer” according to the Trophée Jules Verne record holder, Geronimo seems decidedly at ease at this excellent pace and has clocked up another 344 miles on her log counter in the last 24 hours. On learning that Bruno Peyron has set off again on his record attempt, Olivier’s comment was: “This new attempt by Orange will have no effect on our round the world strategy and the only meaningful comparison between our respective courses will be the time we areboth trying to beat the 71 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds set in 1997”.
> Message received by the control centre on the evening of 27 February:
“We’re finally out of the glue, but with a bit of a hangover from days of being becalmed. We had a bit too much of it and we’re all on our knees. Neither the time nor the heart to celebrate crossing the line or as far as half the crew are concerned - to create those everlasting memories that the navies of the world concoct with their extravagant recipes. Gloomy, tired and almost humiliated by such impotence.
Four crappy days stuck like glue I haven’t seen anything like it for
twenty years. Not happy, not in a good mood. Fed up with the quiet, too: nothing to do, we’ve done it all. Fed up with not being able to control my anger long enough to appreciate the sublime sight of Geronimo making the most of each breath and sparkling in the moonlight. With my eyes glued to the clock, I was so busy watching that I didn’t see this extraordinary wind dancer skimming over the black sea. Washed by the returning wind, I now remember it and I realise that I was touched by a glorious moment that I didn’t dare to grasp.” Olivier