Having identified a suspect area of very low water temperatures around 110° West, Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew have stayed north of the 52° South parallel.
This seems a wise decision when you learn that Geronimo found herself nose-to-nose with a 300-metre long iceberg last Friday, despite water temperatures of 9°C at 53° South. This berg was not picked up by satellite, although another several kilometres long was observed to the north of the trimaran's track. The only method available for assessing the presence of ice therefore remains seawater temperature. The area from 95° to 110° West and down as far as 53° South is showing surface water temperatures that are just too low for comfort.
Within the next few hours, Geronimo will reach 95° West and be able to put in a south-easterly tack to coincide with the change in wind direction forecast for this afternoon. The tropical depression should generate strong north-westerlies, pushing the waves towards Cape Horn. Despite extending her route by taking the prudent northern option, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran averaged 23 knots to cover 552 nautical miles on her 37th day at sea, making this her best day since the start of the record attempt.