It is anticipated that by later this afternoon Geronimo, the giant grey trimaran of Capgemini and Schneider Electric, will sail past South East Cape in Tasmania, which is the southern most point of Australia. Once she rounds this point she will run up the east coast of Tasmania and cross Bass Strait before she will be off the south coast of New South Wales and on the way to the finish line.
Geronimo is now on the home stretch of her circumnavigation with approximately 750 nautical miles to travel before she crosses the official finish line of The Challenge off the Opera House in Sydney. Overnight the boat travelled approximately 400 miles averaging 18 knots boat speed in a moderating breeze.
‘We have had a very nice surf day, beautiful swell, good speed and a lot of pleasure sailing in this conditions, for the first time since North West Cape. Still quite cold, but the crew could get some rest and be in good shape for the last run to the arrival. There is a very good ambiance onboard, very excited to see some land tomorrow, ‘commented Olivier de Kersauson late last night.
When de Kersauson sails from Hobart to Sydney he will most likely remember his winning race when he sailed on Pen Duick III in the 1967 Sydney to Hobart, winning the race on line honours with his sailing mentor Eric Tabarly.
‘Once the boat reaches South East Cape in Tasmania and starts to travel up Tasmania’s east coast, the breeze is predicted to be a Sou’ Wester at 20 to 25 knots with the east coast of Tasmania providing some shelter from the big seas Geronimo encountered as she crossed from Cape Leeuwin to South East Cape. It is anticipated that the breeze will swing to the South East on Friday morning providing a potential Bass Straight crossing for Geronimo of a sou’ Easter at 15 to 20 knots,’ commented Richard Whittaker meteorologist from The Weather Channel.
If all goes as anticipated Geronimo will be off Gabo Island on the south east coast of New South Wales tomorrow. The Challenge shore crew are anticipating Geronimo and her crew could achieve a circumnavigation record of Australia of less than 18 days.
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