Groupama 3 passes Strait of Gibraltar on her way to Istanbul
It's a cheerful Swiss sailor Steve Ravussin who swiftly picks up this Friday lunchtime. "That's it, we've passed them!" From now on, the pillars of Hercules are in Groupama 3's wake and they won't see them again until June, when the trimaran heads for Lisbon, the final stopover on the `route of the subsidiaries'.
Right now, the trimaran belonging to the insurer-banker Groupama is already in the Mediterranean and the 11 men on board seem satisfied with their passage through the Staits of Gibraltar* as watch leader, media man and helm, Steve Ravussin, indicates:
"We haven't been very quick over the past 24 hours. After rounding the cape of Saint-Vincent, where we had to wait a few hours for the wind to ease near the straits, the wind gods left us in the lurch and we even had to start the engine!
We passed Gibraltar this morning in some superb conditions with 23 knots of wind. It was perfect! We hurtled along downwind toward the coast without a care!
Groupama 3 goes really well. Everything which was done during the refit last winter is really only a bonus! The crew has done a great job. We're currently enjoying a fantastic delivery!"
Groupama 3 is still benefiting from a little downwind sailing, switching tack under gennaker before being faced with some upwind conditions over the coming hours...
Groupama 3 passes the Strait of Gibraltar with Franck Cammas on the helm. Gibraltar, 20 March 2009. Photo copyright Groupama