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25 February 2002, 09:59 am
Geronimo in the Doldrums
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Geronimo

Jules Verne Trophy

The Doldrums have never done more to earn their dreadful reputation. With no appreciable wind for two days, Geronimo is approaching the equator at the painful rate of just 7 to 8 knots.
It's a testing times for the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young - Schneider Electric team's crew. "Morale is good though", confirms Olivier de Kersauson. "We're still focused as we wait for the slightest breath of wind. We all know that missing even a light breeze could lose us half a day. This part of our voyage generates plenty of stress and a lot of attention".

To keep up their concentration levels, the crew is using this period of calm to service the boat down to last detail. Every aspect of the rigging has been inspected and small faults corrected. The entire mainsheet block system has been upgraded in readiness for the winds to come once Geronimo crosses the equator.

"None of this prevents us from being ready to manoeuvre the boat whenever we need to, and those operations are carried out very quickly and very well".

Whilst waiting to resume forward progress, Olivier de Kersauson, like his crew, remains composed and hopeful that the wind will soon return. "The Doldrums contain huge windless areas that move around a lot. Sometimes it seems as if they move at the same time as you do. This little game could go on for 2 hours or 2 days. Whatever happens though, there's no point in complaining… That never solves anything!"
Geronimo Press/News Editor
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