Grands Records: Geronimo finishes 20 hours ahead of Steve Fosset
The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric trimaran crossed her finish line off the Lizard at 12:12:54 today, having completed the Round Britain and Ireland course in 4 days, 22 hours, 5 minutes and 52 seconds. This performance puts Geronimo almost 23 hours ahead of the times set by Steve Fosset and Orange, but some hours behind a British competitor (subject to ratification).
Having set off from the Isle of Wight, Maiden II, skippered by Brian Thompson, covered the same course 5 hours faster than Geronimo. The fact that the rules governing this event allow crews to choose their own start/finish points means that the two boats will not have encountered precisely the same weather conditions.
Maiden II is the same catamaran that won The Race as Club Med and is the current 24-hour speed record holder (at 697 miles).
Geronimo’s crew must now make a detailed analysis of the courses sailed by the two contenders, the route taken by the English catamaran having been kept secret throughout the attempt. Over and above the actual time set, the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric crew have had a lot of positive technical feedback as a result of this attempt (new rudder blade and mast), which can be used to attack her next attempt and put her back on track for the Jules Verne Trophy. The time set for the course is excellent and shows that Geronimo has everything it takes to pursue and set major records. This is becoming an increasingly demanding and difficult challenge because the number of competitors is growing every day, as is the performance of all those involved.