Saturday, March 20, 2010

Groupama 3 breaks round-the-world record !!!

[Source: Groupama] The Jules Verne Trophy now belongs to ten men who have sailed around the globe at an average of 18.76 knots along the optimum course, beating the reference time set by Orange 2 in 2005 by 2 days 08 hours 35 minutes. Franck Cammas and his men crossed the finish line off the Créac'h lighthouse at Ushant (Finistère) at 21h40'45" UTC Saturday 20th March. They are due to make the Port du Château in Brest at around 0900 UTC tomorrow.

The skipper Franck Cammas, navigator Stan Honey, watch leaders Fred Le Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loïc Le Mignon, Thomas Coville and Lionel Lemonchois, and the three bowmen Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës, supported on shore by router Sylvain Mondon, have pulled it off: they have beaten the round the world record under sail via the three capes!

In 48 days 07 hours 44 minutes, Groupama 3 has certainly had her highs and lows, as she hasn't always been ahead of the reference time set by Bruno Peyron and his crew in 2005. On the contrary! The giant trimaran had a deficit of just over 500 miles in relation to Orange 2 and was only able to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record thanks to a dazzling final sprint from the equator. At that stage they had a deficit of one day and two hours, but by devouring the North Atlantic in 6 days 10 h 35', Groupama 3 quite simply pulverised the reference time over this section of the course.

Groupama 3 crosses the finish line and breaks the round-the-world record. Ouessant, 20 March 2010. Video copyright Groupama

Spring parade
Setting out on 31st January 2010 whilst the weather `window' was not particularly favourable, Franck Cammas and his men have alternated between some extremely fast sequences and some very slow ones. Indeed, the conditions were very varied on this round the world, and even the wind rarely exceeded 40 knots. It has to be said that the chosen trajectory sought to avoid the heavy seas and the overly strong breezes, which considerably increased the distance to travel: in fact Groupama 3 sailed 28,523 miles whilst the official optimum course amounts to 21,760 miles. As such, in terms of actual speed across the ground, the giant trimaran maintained an average speed of 24.6 knots! The trickiest zone, both on the outward journey and the return proved to be the South Atlantic. During the descent problems arose due to the calms and on the ascent due to the headwinds.

Tonight Groupama 3 is remaining offshore of Ushant to await daybreak: she will enter the channel into the harbour of Brest at around 0830 UTC under sail, then a parade around the harbour will culminate with her tying up in the Port du Château at around 1000 hours UTC. A number of France's top sailors, including Bruno Peyron, previous Jules Verne Trophy holder since 2005, have made the trip to Brest to welcome in the victorious crew and the locals are planning to come out in force to welcome home the ten round the world sailors on Sunday morning.

And now, full speed ahead to win the Volvo Ocean Race. Ouessant, 20 March 2010. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama

Arrival of Groupama 3
Saturday 20th March 2010 at 21 hours 40 minutes 45 seconds UTC
In 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes 52 seconds
Improvement in relation to the previous record*
2 days 8 hours 35 minutes 12 seconds
*Subject to approval by the WSSRC
(Orange II - Bruno Peyron - in 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes and 4 seconds in 2005

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At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe all the commentary on the legal battle behind the AC and a great sailing achievement like this goes without any comment! Says something about what people really care about in this sport.
Congratulations Groupama you've achieved something incredible and worthwhile, true sailors.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Liz24 said...

What a magnificent achievement, truly well done. That's how a sailing race should be held, in the true spirit of sailing.

Fab website, I tune in every day to check up on the latest sailing news. Thank you.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Rigger Mortis said...

I couldn't agree more. Pierre, you need to adjust your editorial balance and forget all this AC LV if you want to keep your readers. I like it here, but lately I've been looking elsewhere for my fix.


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