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    Grands Records: An amazing start to the Trophée Jules Verne.

    1811 miles covered in a little over 80 hours and making the Canaries in just 60, although on his previous attempt on the Trophée Jules Verne in 1997, Olivier de Kersauson took over six days to cover this same distance. The first few days of Geronimo’s attempt on the round the world record have been nothing less than exceptional. There are a number of reasons for this incredible performance, which even Kersauson has never managed to match in all his long career at sea.

    > An innovative boat

    Everyone knew that Geronimo was fast, but she is now confirming every hope invested in her by the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young – Schneider Electric team. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It is a universal law of physics that the longer the boat is, the faster it will travel. The effect is even more pronounced when the balance between weight and power is well calculated. Olivier de Kersauson’s 1997 multihull was 27 metres long, with a 33-metre mast, whereas Geronimo is 34 metres long with a 42-metre mast. The weight saved by using the latest high-technology materials has given Geronimo unprecedented power.

    > Intense team spirit

    Geronimo is a quite unique prototype, but her skipper and crew have taken the time necessary to get to know her well. “We’ve been training on the boat for four months, so the crew knows her well and it hasn’t taken them long to come to terms with her at sea”. The intense team spirit that binds the crew together has evolved over long training sessions on board Olivier de Kersauson’s previous trimaran. This crew was selected less on purely technical criteria than on their ability to work as a team. All that then remained was to bring this pack of young sea dogs together around old hands, Didier Ragot and Yves Pouillaude, to take on the common objective of beating the 71 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes of the current Trophée Jules Verne record.

    > Calculated risk

    Finally, the incredible sailing conditions seen since the start at 01:25:16 GMT (02:25:16 French time) on Monday morning have also contributed to Geronimo’s fantastic performance. However, the superb weather window that opened before the bows of the great grey trimaran was not entirely down to good luck. Olivier de Kersauson and his weather consultant, Pierre Lasnier, had identified this opportunity several days before the start and it was on this basis that they took the risk of scheduling their departure for last weekend. “It’s the only time in the whole record attempt when we have the opportunity to choose. We seized the opportunity presented to us and it looks like we were right!” Table showing the progress of the 1997 record attempt. The average speeds and daily distances have been recalculated using the same method as that used to prepare the progress table for Geronimo.