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8 July 2005, 01:23 pm
Geronimo - 24 Hours To Finish Line
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WSSRC Record Attempt

As Geronimo sailed past the Derwent River and the lights of Hobart early last night, she was round the last point in the official circumnavigation route of her Round Australia record attempt. The crew sounded in good spirits and ready for the last leg of the track when she will cross the notorious Bass Straight and head up the New South Wales coast.
At sunrise today the giant grey maxi was passing the spectacular scenery on the North East coastline of Tasmania at 17 knots, as she prepared to pass Flinders Island and enter Bass Straight. Geronimo was greeted by a brilliant sunrise this morning as she sailed past Eddystone Point and continued her course north to the finish line. French crew member Antoine DERU will celebrate his birthday today as he crosses the waters of Bass Straight and heads for Sydney.

Once the Capgemini and Schneider Electric trimaran reaches Sydney, she will have travelled the equivalent distance between Sydney and Los Angeles in the circumnavigation of Australia.

'We are very nervous about the low system which is going to appear offshore Sydney this weekend. In this low, there could be winds up to fifty knots, so we really need to be in Sydney before. Otherwise, everything is okay onboard, we will be very happy to arrive and to finish. The only thing is that this finish is very tricky! As usual, we have been alongside Tasmania by night. Each time we sail along beautiful coastlines, it is during the night,' remarked skipper Olivier DE KERSAUSON (FRA) this morning, as he travelled the route he did in reverse in the 1967 Sydney Hobart race.

It is expected that Geronimo will arrive in Sydney Harbour tomorrow, after covering her 6,500 mile journey in less than 18 days. The current Round Australia record, as ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), was set in July 2003 by Kaz and skipper David PESCUD (AUS) in a time of 37 days, 1 hour, 23 minutes and 57 seconds at an average speed of 7.31 knots. The crew onboard Geronimo are looking forward to a triumphant return.

'There is a low pressure area expected to develop tonight and tomorrow morning south of Sydney. The winds are expected to increase by Saturday afternoon from the north east clocking to nor' west from Gabo Island to Sydney. A gale warning has been issued for the south coast for tomorrow morning,' commented Richard WHITTAKER meteorologist from The Weather Channel.

Sam Crichton (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Geronimo is nearing the finish:© Yves Pouillaude
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