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16 January 2003, 10:08 am
Geronimo En Route To the Equator Well Ahead of Orange's Record
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Jules Verne Trophy
Equator and Lorient, France

Meanwhile, Ellen MacArthur and her 13 man crew on Kingfisher II have gone into standby mode at 0800 hours (local time France) this morning, which means that if the current weather window continues they are ready to leave Lorient within 24 hours.
As Geronimo approached the Cape Verde islands en route to the Equator at an average speed in excess of 20 knots, Olivier de Kersauson found the time to tell us how he feels about this other world, "We are beginning to see a spring-like light to the sky which is a delicate pre-tropical blue - in fact all the colours here are sublime. I've always loved these north-south legs of the Round the World trip, because you travel quickly from one season to another, and as soon as you cross the Equator, you're back in the summer light of the Southern hemisphere! I know nothing more breathtaking than the extraordinary beauty of this light and the days that last for an eternity, with sunsets that never seem to arrive and whole days that stretch as far as the horizon. The light you get here is nothing like the light in Brest or along the Spanish coast. Yesterday, it was the Canaries and today it's the Cape Verde islands, where the wind sometimes has a particular scent and warmth. It also has a certain weight to it, as the molecular structure of the air changes. These are fantastically happy feelings. Being a member of Geronimo's crew and sailing at 27 knots in a world of such incredible beauty is heaven on earth! Unlike flying, a boat gives you the time to see these seasonal changes, but not too quickly. Every day gets lighter as we approach the Equator. We've just left a region of the world that is spendsing 18 hours a day in darkness and have emerged today into the land of light. When you have the chance to compete in this sport at the helm of a great multihull in such sublime surroundings, it would be almost indecent to be anything less than content! What a fantastic experience!", concluded the obviously delighted skipper of the Geronimo.

Geronimo and Kingfisher Media/ISAF Secretariat
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