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17 February 2002, 11:43 am
Geronimo Will Set Sail Today
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Geronimo

Jules Verne Trophy

Olivier de Kersauson has made the decision to set off from Brest at the helm of his maxi-trimaran Geronimo at around 14:00 on Sunday 17 February to cross the start line for the Trophée Jules Verne off Ushant.
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric have committed their support to Olivier de Kersauson for a four-year programme to attack the world's great sailing records.

This unique challenge has been built around an unequalled fund of sailing experience. Five years of design and eighteen months of construction have produced the world's largest racing trimaran, whose crew has undergone 14 months of preparation for this first event. Within the next few hours, the 11 men of Geronimo will open the first chapter of their record campaign by embarking on the longest and most difficult of all: the Trophée Jules Verne.

The last night before the battle Having pored in minute detail over the latest weather forecasts, Olivier de Kersauson has made the decision to set off from Brest at the helm of his maxi-trimaran Geronimo at around 14:00 on Sunday 17 February to cross the start line for the Trophée Jules Verne off Ushant. From there, this most illustrious of French circumnavigators will launch his attempt on the ultimate round-the-world record in an attempt to beat his own 1997 record of 71 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 8 seconds.

Before making the final leap into what will be his sixth global adventure, Olivier de Kersauson and his crew of ten face the night before the battle with a surprising degree of calm. "Having looked at all the meteorology - which is looking pretty good, despite a small rather tricky patch where we might have to cope with strong northerly winds before reaching the start line - I have decided, in agreement with my two seconds-in-command on Geronimo, Didier Ragot and Yves Pouillaude, my route planner Pierre Lasnier and my troops, to set sail from the Brest Arsenal early on Sunday afternoon for Ushant, where we will cross the line that evening, during the night or maybe even on Monday morning".

After a successful "refit" on Thursday, Geronimo is finally ready and needs nothing more than the green light from the men at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric to be one her way and riding the waves of the Bay of Biscay. Just a few hours before slipping his moorings and pulling away from the hospitable quayside of the Brest Arsenal, Olivier de Kersauson, always respectful of maritime tradition, expressed his thanks to those who have looked after the boat and its crew so well in recent days: "I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to all the military staff at the Brest Arsenal for allowing Geronimo to use their fantastic facilities to prepare for the Trophée Jules Verne. They have been nothing but welcoming and supportive right the way through".
Geronimo Press/News Editor
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