Trimming your trimaran's sails with a bicycle
If there was still any doubt that Franck Cammas and his Groupama team were by far the kings of offshore sailing, I'm sure the video will make you change your mind.
A mere two months after establishing a round-the-world record in the Jules Verne Trophy, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 took her maiden sail yesterday in Lorient. So what, you might wonder. Well, during that period Groupama 3 was adapted to solo sailing (in addition to been sounded from top to toe) with a view to her participation in the next edition of the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, whose start will be given on 31st October 2010. Franck Cammas will sail her solo while in the Jules Verne Trophy she was crewed by a 10-strong team.
First solo sail for Groupama 3. Lorient, 24 June 2010. Video copyright Groupama
The deck layout has been modified so that all the manoeuvres associated with the sails and appendages are within reach of each of the helming stations. According to Eric Lamy, boat captain, "the only work we had to do was on the deck layout and the interior, so as to adapt Groupama 3 to single-handed sailing. The solent and staysail chainplates have been shifted in line with the new, shorter mast. Down below we've removed anything that was intended for sailing in crewed configuration. There isn't a lot left."
Yet, the most ingenious modification by a young engineer in the design team was the addition of fixed bicycle that will allow Cammas to trim the sails with his legs. Every time his arms are tired after a prolonged use of the winches ha can always hop on the bike and trim with his legs. He can switch back and forth and rest the part of his body that is tired. Check approximately halfway through the video to watch Cammas pedaling and trimming. The first sail went smoothly and as Lamy stated, his team will now optimize the boat to singled-handed sailing in general and Cammas' needs in particular. After a series of tests in the next two weeks and lots of feedback from Cammas, Lamy's goal is to have Groupama 3 ready for solo sailing within the month of July.