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1 July 2005, 03:43 pm
Geronimo Heads For Southern Ocean
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WSSRC Record Attempt

On her Round Australia record attempt the maxi trimaran Geronimo has been doing what she does best - going fast. After sailing across the top of Australia she is on her way down the west coast of Australia with approximately 3,500 miles and half the country behind her.
Now located off the North West Cape on the Western Australian coast, Geronimo is outside Barrow Island and the Dampier Archipelago. The boat has now passed six of the eight geographic locations included in the official course. Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and South East Cape in Tasmania will be the last two points to pass before the 110 foot trimaran heads back to her starting point in Sydney Harbour off the Opera House.

After entering Western Australian waters on Wednesday, Geronimo sailed into lighter breezes than those she had experienced as she travelled over the top of the country. In the last 24 hours the breeze has become more favourable and has the boat travelling down the coast at approximately 17 knots. 'After eight days at sea having had nearly perfect conditions we came into nearly dead calm area. The coastal navigation has you checking charts every ten minutes for coral reefs which can be testing and the shifty winds makes a big difference compared to offshore racing and we have to adapt and trim sails on an average of every 45 minutes,' remarked skipper, Olivier DE KERSAUSON (FRA).

'The last few days the winds have been very shifty in strength and direction which is making it hard to anticipate the land breezes or ocean trade winds,' explained DE KERSAUSON earlier today. 'Sailing in this region [North West Australia] is totally different with the smells of the land being carried out to sea to us onboard. I feel like I am sailing on the moon as it is so beautiful, nothing to compare to the tropical lights of Africa or America, here the colours are unique, it's beautiful. The air is very dry similar to the Sahara but without the dust which makes the colours very dramatic.'

'The race is on for Geronimo to be at Cape Leeuwin on the south west corner of Western Australia by Sunday night so they can benefit from the front that is travelling across a west to east track across the bottom of Australia,' predicted meteorologist Richard WHITTAKER. 'If the boat can average 15 knots boat speed they should be able to position themselves for this to occur. The strong North West winds from this front will assist Geronimo in a very fast passage through the southern ocean towards Tasmania.'

It is anticipated that if Geronimo can maintain her current speed of approximately 17 knots she will be off Perth and Fremantle in the early hours of Sunday morning and will then turn into the southern ocean once she reaches Cape Leeuwin on the southern coast of Western Australia. 'The southern ocean is an area I have sailed in nine times but not in the winter, I can tell you more once we have been through' commented DE KERSAUSON as he prepares for the bottom of Australia. 'The Australian crew are very good,' he continued, 'an opinion we share onboard they have quickly adapted to the multihull and are good companions. Their enthusiasm is great and they are now an important part of the team. It is very nice for all of us to make a team so quickly from a group that didn't have a chance to sail together before we set out.'

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Onboard Geronimo:© superyachting.com
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