After blowing out her second gennaker, Geronimo is on her way home to Brest for repairs before restarting her Jules Verne Trophy bid. Geronimo was carrying three gennakers for this Jules Verne Trophy attempt.
Designed as spinnaker/genoa hybrids (hence the name), these sails provide the boat's main driving force in light-to-medium winds. In other words, they are key to achieving maximum speed in the trade winds and calms. Two of these sails are new and were delivered last December especially for this round-the-world trip. They were tested at sea last month.
The first gennaker gave up the ghost just after the start and the second followed suit today in just the same way and, it seems, for the same reasons. Since the third is identical to the first two, it seems reasonable to doubt its reliability, so all three must be modified before Geronimo can restart. If she were to complete the second half of her southward Atlantic passage or the northern leg on her return without these sails, Geronimo would lose a third of her potential speed. It might be possible in a race, but would be madness on a record attempt, especially since the trimaran has covered only 10% of the course and is only a few days clear of the start line.
So the decision has been made to return to Brest, modify the sails and cross the start line one more time.
Further news is available on Geronimo's website at the address below.