Monday, November 16, 2009

Groupama 3 suffers damage, abandons record attempt

It's an irony that yesterday the team posted a video where Thomas Coville was taking advantage of the extremely light winds and calm seas to check the floats of the Groupama 3 trimaran. The conclusion of the tests was that their 105-foot yacht was in "perfect state"

[Source: Cammas - Groupama] It was at 1216 UT on Monday 16th November, that the skipper of Groupama 3, Franck Cammas, called the Jules Verne Trophy team to inform them that an aft beam bulkhead had broken, leading to serious damage to the float. Despite the storm, Groupama 3 is slowly making headway towards Cape Town some 1,700 miles away (3,000 km) and is therefore abandoning this particular Jules Verne Trophy...

At around 1200 UT this Monday, a big cracking sound dashed the hopes of Franck Cammas and his nine crew in their bid to break Orange 2's round the world record from back in 2005 (50 d 16h 20'). A bulkhead attached to the aft beam simply gave up the ghost in the harsh conditions as the giant trimaran was sailing with her sails angled at 90° to the true wind in a powerful NNE'ly air flow and rough seas. The crew knew they had to go fast to stay in the right sector of the warm front, hot on their heels, in order to drop down towards the Cape of Good Hope with the Brazilian low. The resulting weakness then caused the windward float to fissure and, in light of the sizeable damage, the crew immediately stopped the boat and concluded that it would be necessary to abandon this round the world attempt.

Closeup of the area that has been damaged. Photo copyright Groupama

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