At noon local time 11 May 2006, Geronimo departed Middle Island sailing towards Taiwan and Japan. The latest weather report (issued during the morning) left everyone trying to guess Chanchu's (the name official of the typhoon) path. The storm is either going to the west or will take the more usual path toward the north.
As far as the effects of a typhoon to a maxi trimaran like Geronimo, all agree that sailing in 100+ knot winds and an enormous sea is perilous at best. Larry Rosenfeld—who returned to the USA following Geronimo's San Francisco-Yokohama record run and will return to Japan for the East to West attempt—specializes in tracking typhoons and hurricanes. Based on research, he concurs with the decision to forgo the Hong Kong-Yokohama challenge. His teammates are more apt to agree with the local fisherman. A storm is coming!
It is unusual in May to have sea temperatures exceeding 25°-26°C, the threshold at which typhoons develop. Normally, typhoon season begins in the end of June or July with the high season being August and September as tropical depressions assemble full north. Hong Kong has not experienced a violent typhoon in nearly two years, but it looks as though Chanchu may shake the proud towers to open the 2006 typhoon season. Then again, perhaps not; perhaps the storm will peter out near Vietnam. Perhaps it will politely follow Geronimo to Japan! In any case, it is a completely new experience—and not one to be too up-close-and-personal with—for one carbon trimaran.
Geronimo's Olivier de Kersauson comments, 'This storm is a bit frustrating for us. Partly this is because we have so enjoyed our time and the warm reception of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. The experience and reception here in Hong Kong has been singular. We have completely enjoyed ourselves, wish we could have stayed longer and so appreciate our sublime invitation, hosts and hostesses. One will work hard to return next November with Geronimo!'
After the typhoon season, of course.