Thursday, 30 July 2009
Groupama 3 at full pelt. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Studio Zedda.
by Vincent Borde
From this Wednesday 29th July Groupama 3 is attacking the North Atlantic crossing (New York - Lizard Point), the oldest and fastest of all the oceanic records. It is 20h12'16''UT, when the maxi-trimaran passes the Ambrose Light on her way out of New York harbour. As such the race against the clock begins with 2,925 miles ahead of the trimaran. The time to beat - 4 days 3 hours 57 minutes 54 seconds - resounds in everyone's minds. To stand a chance of beating her own reference time set on 24th July 2007, Groupama 3 will have to cross the finish line off Lizard Point, the South-West tip of Britain, prior to Monday 3rd August at 00h 09' 10'' UT.
After three weeks on standby in Gateway Marina to the south of Brooklyn, Franck Cammas and his men have today snatched what is a great opportunity to attack the North Atlantic record. Sylvain Mondon from Météo France, onshore router has this to say: "Groupama 3 set off this Wednesday evening in a 20 to 25 knot S'ly wind. A line of stormy squalls from the SW hit New York during the course of the afternoon and produced a considerable wind increase on its way through. This enabled us to take the start a little earlier than we initially planned."
The weather window opening ahead of Groupama 3 is forecast to see some stiff conditions and a steady rhythm, which will certainly appeal to Franck Cammas and his crew!
The ten men on the North Atlantic record:
Franck Cammas, skipper, watch leader and helm
Stève Ravussin (CH): Watch leader and helm
Frédéric Le Peutrec: Watch leader and helm
Loïc Le Mignon: Second helm
Lionel Lemonchois: Second helm
Bernard Stamm (CH): Second helm
Ronan Le Goff: Bowman
Bruno Jeanjean: Bowman
Olivier Mainguy: Bowman
Stan Honey (USA): Navigator
Not to mention
Sylvain Mondon: onshore weather advisor
• North Atlantic Crossing
• 2,925 miles between New York and Lizard Point
• Time to beat:
4 days 3 hours 57 minutes - Average speed: 29.26 knots
Record held by Franck Cammas, aboard Groupama 3, since 23rd July 2007.