The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is now crossing the Bay of Biscay at a good speed, benefiting from the easterly shift in the wind at around 4 o'clock this morning.
With 15, then 20 knots of well-established easterly, the French crew was very quickly back on the pace and are making no attempt to hide their delight at being up and running again. Now making nearly 30 knots over a flat sea, Geronimo is flying towards Cape Finisterre, which she should pass this evening.
Again last evening, Olivier de KERSAUSON was keen to stress that: "This is first and foremost an attempt at a start. If we can find the trades in a respectable time, we'll carry on. If not, we'll head for home, so we have nothing to lose...The forecast analysis is not the same as before".
The first eight hours may have been pretty dull - which was inevitable - but the important thing was the first change of gear that came towards the end of the night. With that out of the way, the first potential difficulty was quickly overcome by the trimaran's impressive turn of speed on slack winds. In fact, she has exceeded actual wind speed ever since the start line.
The crew seems relieved by this release after weeks of preparation and stand-by. "We've been ready to go for a very long time, because we had no idea what to expect from the weather. Now though, the crew is performing fantastically and Geronimo is on top form",
said the skipper as the boat was being provisioned. The impatience was almost palpable: a very real enthusiasm to get back to sea and race at these very high speeds.
"The Jules Verne Trophy is a continual series of meetings, places, and passages - an unending sequence of thoughts and memories. Quite unforgettable and totally unique".
Olivier de KERSAUSON and his ten companions are just having their first meeting...
Position at 13:00 today: 45°02N / 09°16W
269 nautical miles covered since the start
18.57 knots average speed since the start