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    Grands Records: Geronimo is on her way

    > Geronimo decided to start her attempt from the Lizard Point
    The rules governing this record allow contenders to select their own starting point and direction of travel. Skippered by Brian Thompson, the maxi-catamaran Maiden II (formerly Club Med) has also departed on the same record bid from Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight.

    Olivier de Kersauson’s trimaran left her home port of Brest on Wednesday evening. The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric crew crossed the start line at 14:07:02 (French time), on Thursday 5 September under the eagle eye of timekeeper Michaël Ellisson, the World Sailing Speed Record Council representative.

    Olivier de Kersauson and his crew have chosen to make their record attempt in an anti-clockwise direction. The first few hours saw stable and sustained wind conditions, enabling the trimaran to make over 20 knots on her first leg towards the North Sea.

    > The Course
    The Round Britain and Ireland record course covers some 1787 miles (3309 km) and may be followed in either direction, the only restriction being that it must encompass the entire British Isles, including the Shetland Isles, which lie to the north of Scotland above the 60th parallel. Only the Channel Islands and Rockall (which is as near Iceland as it is Scotland and Ireland) are excluded. Skippers have a free choice of start/finish point.

    The weather around the British Isles is highly complex and very changeable. The course contains many potential pitfalls in the shape of powerful currents, rocky coastlines and sandbanks, as well as other unpredictable effects resulting from sub-sea topography. This is a demanding course requiring extreme vigilance.