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9 March 2003, 02:54 pm
Geronimo Resumes Record Lead
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Jules Verne Trophy
Round the World

At 03:00 GMT today, she was 1503 nautical miles from the waypoint at 35° North, 36° West (southwest of the Azores), 87 miles closer than Orange, which was 1590 nautical miles from the same point on day 56.
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran was also 38 nautical miles further north and over 350 nautical miles further west.

Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew must keep up the effort in the days ahead, since Orange made some very good headway in days 58, 59 and 60, averaging 475 nautical miles a day. The trade winds remain relatively slack as the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew search for the best point to pick up a depression that will take them home to Brest as quickly as possible.

"There's a mixture of calm and anxiety on board. Everyone is preoccupied with the same question: can we succeed in getting north? On every watch and at every hour, the boys are checking how far north we've managed. That's what took us out of the Equatorial zone and the Doldrums. Actually, we had a lucky escape, because the Doldrums have moved 60 miles further north since we left the area.

That was our limit. We can see that now: the trade winds to the north of us are not well-established. Nevertheless, it's real, thank God, and so we progress. A boat slower than Geronimo in slack winds would have been stuck for another 24 or maybe 48 hours. Despite the fact that the trade winds are lazy, we'll still have enough to take us north. We'll be getting closer to the Azores High over the next day or two.

That's part of the beauty of the Jules Verne Trophy - there are no written rules and you can't take anything for granted. You have to wait to find out what each day will bring. The North Atlantic changes all the time. There's no way of knowing exactly what type of weather system we can expect. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. It's very stressful on the nerves, but our first thoughts must be to make headway further north. After that, we'll see what happens soon enough…" News Editor
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