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  1. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 6, 2009 @ 18:01

    2009/11/06 – 16h49
    Already off Spain
    Jules Verne Trophy

    Groupama 3 had reached Cape Finisterre this Friday lunchtime. As such Franck Cammas and his nine crew were set to rack up over 500 miles in 24 hours midway through the afternoon, which remains a good average speed for this first day in predominantly beam winds and close-hauled conditions. The downwind conditions along the Portuguese coast should enable them to quickly make up their deficit in relation to the reference time.

    In 2005, Bruno Peyron and his crew set out from Ushant on their successful Jules Verne Trophy campaign with some highly favourable conditions to escape the Bay of Biscay and benefit from the Portuguese tradewinds. In this way, the giant catamaran was able to cover nearly 600 miles on its first day. This won’t be the case for Groupama 3, but this was already part of the plan on leaving Brest. Indeed, by setting out in a strong NW’ly breeze and, most strikingly, pitted against big, highly chaotic seas with waves in excess of 6 metres, the giant trimaran didn’t have a hope of reaching an average of more than twenty knots.
    “The wind frequently switched direction on this first night at sea, which meant that we weren’t constantly able to carry the optimum amount of sail area on Groupama 3. We thought we were free of this phenomenon this morning, but right now the wind still has a tendency to shift 40°… The true NW’ly wind should return soon at which point we’ll be able to pick up speed over the course of the afternoon. In any case, we couldn’t take any risks with the start and for the time being all’s well! We’ve just broken a helmsman’s helmet, but it’s already been repaired…” indicated Franck Cammas during the radio link-up this Friday lunchtime.


  2. Stefan G
    Nov 7, 2009 @ 12:07

    Bara en sprucken hjälm, ingen fara:-) Man undrar ju om det var ett huvud i hjälmen när den sprack. I så fall var det ju bra att han/hon hade hjälmen på sig.


  3. skipper Worse
    Nov 7, 2009 @ 17:48

    Det här blir kul att följa plus att man kan få in vädret upp till 36 timmar framåt. Så kan man sitta o fundera över deras vägväl…


  4. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 7, 2009 @ 17:56


  5. skipper Worse
    Nov 7, 2009 @ 20:02

    Satt för några timmar sedan o funderade på när de skulle börja falla – o nu har de gjort det! Tagit in 10 mil på två timmar.


  6. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 8, 2009 @ 19:12

    Press release of the 2009/11/08
    2009/11/08 – 17h47

    708 miles in 24 hours
    Jules Verne Trophy

    In a single day, Groupama 3 has succeeded not only in making up yesterday’s deficit on the reference time, but also gaining almost a day on the course adopted by Bruno Peyron in 2005! It’s been an excellent weekend for all Franck Cammas’ crew with over 700 miles covered over the past 24 hours.

    First of all, Stan Honey is a lot better. Groupama 3’s navigator has been taken in hand by the crew and thanks to dried Swiss meat and a highly favourable weather situation, the American has been able to get on with his work at the chart table in the best possible conditions. The trimaran is also on a favourable course for tackling the Doldrums from Monday evening… In fact, this is the latest objective for Franck Cammas’ crew, who haven’t had as easy a day as all that despite the supersonic speeds this Sunday: the trimaran has managed to rack up nearly 708 miles in 24 hours!
    “Stan is resting, but fortunately he’s feeling a lot better. I think it was partly due to the exhaust fumes from the engine but he also has a problem with one ear: he’s taken some Swiss potions and he’s doing well…” indicated Stève Ravussin at the midday radio link-up this Sunday.

    Point of contact
    Since gybing on Saturday evening, Groupama 3 has been able to trace a straight course towards the S-SE at a regular speed, pushed along by tradewinds varying in strength between 22 and 35 knots beneath the squalls. These weather conditions necessitated a lot of effort from the crew who constantly had to adapt the sail area to make good speed in safety: “it’s very wet but it’s nice! Nevertheless, we did have to carry out a fair number of manoeuvres last night with squalls and gusts up to 36 knots… Added to that the short seas made for an exciting ride: we went down to two reefs in the mainsail and Solent! We clocked up some top speeds of 42 knots, but it wasn’t our aim to go very fast; our main focus is making good headway…” confirmed the watch leader.

    In fact, the trajectory is very pure with a course of 210° enabling them to retain some distance from the Cape Verde archipelago so as not to suffer from the wind shadow caused by these volcanic islands. Sylvain Mondon from Météo France has explained that the tradewinds are much in evidence as far as 20° North and that the trimaran’s trajectory is likely to bend southwards slightly once they’re around the archipelago. On the approach to the Doldrums, the NE’ly wind is set to ease and the difficulty for the skipper, the navigator and the onshore router lies in correctly defining the optimum zone for traversing this magma of shifty winds… Logically, a way through is likely to be located between 24° and 27° West, but from Monday morning the crew are going to need to choose the exact point of contact as any change of course in the light airs can be highly disadvantageous…

    Upside down
    After three days at sea Groupama 3, which had racked up a deficit on the Jules Verne reference time of some 115 miles at most, has turned the whole situation around! Since gybing off Madeira on Saturday after two days’ sailing, the crew have been devouring the miles and it’s with a lead of nearly a day that the trimaran is now tackling Cape Verde… It should be highlighted that Orange 2 didn’t have a very good day as they exited the Canaries and they even strayed off course in the Cape Verde archipelago the following day. As such, Franck Cammas and his nine crew had a lead of over 270 miles this Sunday afternoon in relation to Bruno Peyron’s course in 2005; that is a margin of nearly a day! For Monday, it is highly likely that they will be ahead by a day and a half, so at this rate, the equator may well be crossed in less than six days this coming Wednesday…

    The crew and organisation aboard Groupama 3
    • Watch No.1: Franck Cammas / Loïc Le Mignon / Jacques Caraës
    • Watch No.2: Stève Ravussin / Thomas Coville / Bruno Jeanjean
    • Watch No.3: Fred Le Peutrec / Lionel Lemonchois / Ronan Le Goff
    • Off watch navigator: Stan Honey goes up on deck for manoeuvres
    • Each watch lasts three hours
    • One watch system on deck, one watch on stand-by ready to help manoeuvre, one watch totally resting

    The record to beat
    Currently held by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 since 2005 with a time of 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes at an average of 17.89 knots. Lionel Lemonchois, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës were aboard at the time.


  7. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 9, 2009 @ 16:10


  8. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 11, 2009 @ 13:07

    5 dygn 15 timmar och 23 minuter till ekvatorn!

    Över ett dygn snabbare än Orange, vars rekord man skall slå… men det är långt kvar!


    • Erik Barkefors
      Nov 11, 2009 @ 22:07

      Förra vändan låg dom också bra till tills dom låg uppåner. Rackarns tur att det var 80 nm söder om NZ. Ska man vurpa någonstans längs varvet så är det allra närmast land där! Nu har de inte kolfiber/nomex sandwich utan ett segare laminat så den håller bättre.


  9. Peter Gustafsson
    Nov 16, 2009 @ 19:03

    Damage, destination Cape Town
    Jules Verne Trophy

    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.

    “We’d spent the night sailing fast to stay ahead of the front and this morning Thomas Coville and Bruno Jeanjean were on deck when they heard a big `crack’: there was a small fissure between the aft beam and the port float. Conditions were really bouncy: we came to a standstill with the wind right on our tail so as to be able to open the hatch and get down inside the float. Part of the section between the beam and the float level with the bulkhead had become detached. As such the structural integrity was reduced by at least half. It is impossible to envisage effecting repairs at sea due to the motion. At the moment we’re still being shaken about: there was 35 knots of wind on the beam at the moment the incident occurred and just now, we’ve been caught up by the front so we’ve got 40 knots of breeze…
    We’ve dumped the mainsail and Groupama 3 is running before the wind to avoid any harsh motion. We’re going to draw up a route to avoid having too much wind and excessive waves. We’re heading South to let the second low pass by us tonight and then we’ll head off towards Cape Town tomorrow morning, Tuesday. We’re continuing with the same watch system and I’m working with Stan to see what we can do next. The idea then is to get back to France as quickly as possible: the crew’s up for that and if we can set off again before the end of January then it’s still feasible to make a new attempt!” indicated Franck Cammas during a telephone link-up early this afternoon.

    Present during this telephone interview with Franck, Director of External Communication at Groupama Frédérique Granado, explained the situation: “The most important thing is that the crew are safe and sound. Our priority is that they make Cape Town under the safest possible conditions. We know we can count on their experience and their determination to preserve Groupama 3. Hearing them allude to a new departure this winter is the best proof of this.”

    Heading towards Africa
    As such the wisest solution is to quickly make for port to get a better idea of the true scale of the damage and above all prevent the situation from worsening. Cape Town, around 1,700 miles ahead of the giant trimaran’s bows, will be the quickest pitstop to get to and the sea and wind conditions aren’t too bad. Nevertheless, it’s going to take a week’s sailing for Groupama 3 to tie up to the dock and then be repaired prior to heading North again bound for France.

    Clearly the ten men are very disappointed after this ten and a half day planetary adventure. The trimaran had confirmed her fantastic performance by racking up over 700 miles on her way down the North Atlantic and by considerably improving on her own reference time between Ushant and the equator: 5 days 15 hours 23 minutes!

    At the point the damage occurred, Groupama 3 still had a 345 mile lead over Orange 2 (that is over half a day) and was making headway at an average speed in excess of 25 knots, on a direct course towards the Kerguelen archipelago. Having hooked onto a Brazilian low on Sunday, after a particularly slow weekend, Franck Cammas and his nine crew were fast approaching the Roaring Forties.
    They have since been stopped dead in their tracks but, as Franck highlights, they’re more motivated than ever to effect repairs and set off again as soon as possible this winter for another attempt.


  10. Sam V
    Nov 16, 2009 @ 19:23

    Ajdå. Och Banque Populaire ligger redo för att ge sig iväg. Håller den lär rekordet ryka och då lär Cammas behöva ragga ihop till en ännu större kärra.


  11. L-B Gustafsson
    Nov 16, 2009 @ 23:34

    Haveri och avbrutet rekordförsök enl. SA


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