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28 June 2005, 10:54 am
Geronimo Goes Over The Top Of Australia
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WSSRC Record Attempt

2,500 nautical miles and six days after leaving Sydney Harbour, the maxi trimaran Geronimo is well on her way around the country in her Round Australia record attempt for the sydneyaustralia.com trophy.
Having sailed up the New South Wales and Queensland coast and through the challenging Torres Straits the boat is now well into the waters off the top of the Northern Territory.

Having negotiated the difficult waters at the mouth of Torres Strait on Sunday night, the giant multihull had to pick her way through the maze of islands that are located in this region as well as deal with storms and squalls during her night passage. 'It's difficult and tortuous. The night was black and we were shooting through at over 20 knots between invisible reefs. It was nerve-racking' said skipper Olivier DE KERSAUSON (FRA) yesterday about his passage through the Torres Strait. At 140 miles wide, the Torres Straits are rough and inundated by strong currents of up to seven knots.

'We have total trust in Geronimo, because most of us are so familiar with the boat. Having Australian crew members on board is a considerable bonus, the atmosphere is excellent, and one of them, who knows these waters well, is acting as pilot for us - which is by no means a luxury here!'

Currently situated North West of Darwin outside Melville and Bathurst Islands and in the Timor Sea, Geronimo will cross the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and will soon be heading into Western Australian waters and in the direction of Derby, Broome and the Buccaneer Archipelago on Western Australia's North West coast. Geronimo is currently sailing at approximately 20 knots and travelling in a westerly direction. Predicted trade winds should allow Geronimo to maintain good speeds on her passage to the North West Cape.

'We admire the courage of our Australian crew on board, they have an amazing capacity of adaptation. An unknown boat, unknown speeds and stress, unknown crew, unknown language, and they did not have any time to discover or learn. They just jumped directly in the most difficult and demanding sailing experience' commented DE KERSAUSON. 'The problem with big multihulls is that every manoeuvre has to be anticipated in a very specific way. And you need to forget most of your habits from big monohulls or small multihulls...And to explain this in English with the Australian accent is a long job for me, I admire their patience.'

Reaching top speeds of approximately 30 knots, Geronimo looks to be well on her way to smashing the Round Australia record of just over 37 days set by Kaz in 2003, with the possibility of breaking it by 20 days if she can maintain her current pace.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Geronimo crossing the top of Australia:© Yves Pouillaude
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