Sailors complete record run

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French skipper Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-person crew aboard the maxi-trimaran Geronimo has entered the record books again. The team recently broke the time for crossing the Pacific from San Francisco to Yokohoma, Japan.

The sailors made the 4,700-mile passage in 14 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes, 41 seconds, according to information on the team’s Web site. The previous record of 19 days, 15 hours, 18 minutes, 9 seconds was set in 1996 by American skipper Steve Fossett.

The crew faced fickle winds and fierce weather conditions during the passage, news reports say. “The crossing was magnificent,” de Kersauson says in a report. “Everything was excessive, with the weather changing and shifting around at a mad pace: It was exhausting and exhilarating, except for the final section …

“One thing for sure is that since her last major record attempt, Geronimo has become a boat capable of successfully confronting all kinds of conditions.”

In addition, Geronimo set a new record for the passage from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Yokohama, which was also held by Fossett, according to the Web site. The team plans to sail to Hong Kong for a brief stopover, news reports say, and will head back to Japan about May 22 to attempt the reverse record crossing the Pacific from the west.

Jason Fell