Olivier de Kersauson's giant trimaran will finally be called Geronimo after the famous Apache Indian chief, because she will "never give in to anything". After a 12 month construction at the Multiplast yard, Geronimo designed by the talented duo of naval architects Marc Van Peteghem & Vincent Lauriot Prévost, will now set forth to hunt all the Great Records.
A few drops of water added to the traditional champagne, generous rays of sunshine and great smiles on the faces of all the actors of the festival, the naming of the biggest trimaran in the world in Brest (Atlantic coast/France) lived up to its promises. The yacht's godmother, Mary Tabarly - daugter of the famous French skipper
Eric Tabarly, was unable to hold back her emotion, as she contemplated the elegance of the three hulls in the colours of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric, the major partners of Olivier and his men.
Against the clock!
So the challenges have been confirmed. Under this unequivocal name, the great multihull will set out to race against the clock on all the oceans of the planet, with the Jules Verne Trophy, the absolute record round the world, as the first great challenge. A Trophy that the Multiplast yard and naval architect Gilles Ollier were the first to hold with Bruno Peyron's catamaran Commodore Explorer in 1993. The French skipper girdled the globe in a little less than 80 days.Now, Olivier de Kersauson has his eyes more on 55 days, and to hang onto a record that he has held since 1997 in 71 days. A constructor's trophy that Multiplast would obviously be pleased to share with Olivier de Kersauson and reinscribe on its track record.Now, the men and women of the yard have handed over the torch to the crew and will remain in touch to record as much data as possible in order to assist them if necessary in the development of the machine.
Already a ¼ of a circumnavigation...
Since launching, some 7000 miles (13000 km) have been covered in two months, with a few big runs as far as the Canaries and towards Ireland. Unfortunately the wind never exceeded 30 knots (56 kph) during these test sailings, but the first impressions have already been made known. Yves Pouillaude, Olivier's n° 2: "... it's literally 'rock 'n roll'. As soon as there's any sort of a seaway, especially down below, you have to hang on. But the boat is fabulous. And when all's said and done, handling is easier than on our old mount (Sport Elec). It only needs 4 minutes to hoist the main, whilst on Sport Elec, at the best of times, it needed a minimum of 8". A sentiment shared by all on board. Pascal Blouin, one of the crew: "we're really safe when working on deck on this trimaran. Especially as on 'Geronimo', the forestay is quite far back from the bow. We can work on a solid surface. As for the performance, we really get the impression that we're flying. Now we'll have to see what we can do against the catamarans."
An assertion that could very soon become reality. Indeed, Bruno Peyron, creator of The Race and now in command of the maxi catamaran Innovation Explorer that his brother Loïck campaigned in The Race of the Millennium, just might well come and tease Olivier with an attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy within the coming months. The French skipper confided today his ardent desire with the English journalist of Yachting World and Madforsailing, James Boyd. An exciting confrontation for Multiplast and the Gilles Ollier Design Team which designed and built this 33 metre maxi catamaran, sister ship to Club Med and Team Adventure, both of which were also the work of Multiplast.