Sunday, 17 May 2009

Another Record Time for Groupama 3

Groupama 3 in full flight. Image copyright Guilain GRENIER/Sea & Co.

by Vincent Borde and Caroline Muller

And that makes five! Franck Cammas and his crew have bagged the first record of their 2009 campaign and the fifth since the 105 foot trimaran saw the light of day in June 2006.

Setting out from Marseilles on Friday 15th May at 0719 hours UT in a bid to beat the time set by Bruno Peyron in 2004 between Marseilles and Carthage, Groupama 3 crossed the finish line situated abeam of the Ras Quartajamah lighthouse on Cap Carthage, this Saturday 16th May at 00h 27' 23'' (UT). After 17 hours 08 minutes and 23 seconds and in contact with Sylvain Mondon from Météo France, the crew of the maxi trimaran managed to get the very best out of the wind on offer and can now be satisfied with the work they've accomplished. (Course time subject to approval from the WSSRC).

A year and a half after their capsize during the Jules Verne Trophy attempt, Franck and his men have snatched a fifth reference time, improving on the previous record of 17 hours 56 minutes and 33 seconds, by 48 minutes and 10 seconds.

Groupama 3 covered the 458 miles separating Marseilles from Carthage at an average speed of 26.72 knots, compared with an average of 25.53 knots for Orange II.

Franck Cammas just minutes after crossing the finish line: "We had a very good first section of the course with peaks of speed reaching in excess of 42 knots. However, the final section was more difficult with some lighter winds than forecast, which were very variable in terms of direction. It was a feisty passage as the seas were short and breaking but Groupama 3 behaved very well. We didn't break a thing and the crew was fantastic. We'll arrive in Hammamet in a few hours' time with a fifth record to add to our list of wins. It augurs well for the next stage in the programme as Groupama 3 is really quick".

The record breaking crew
1) Franck Cammas
2) Frédéric Le Peutrec
3) Stève Ravussin
4) Loïc Le Mignon
5) Ronan Le Goff
6) Lionel Lemonchois
7) Thomas Coville
On shore: Sylvain Mondon (Router)

Important figures
- Groupama 3, new title holder of the Trans-Mediterranean record between Marseilles and Carthage

- New reference time: 17 hours 08 minutes 23 seconds
(Course time subject to approval from the WSSRC - underway)

- Departure from Marseilles - Friday 15th May at 0719' (UT)

- Finish in Carthage - Saturday 16th May at 00h 27' 23'' (UT)

- Actual distance covered: 532 miles - Average speed: 31.03 knots

- Official distance of the record: 458 miles - Average speed: 26.72 knots

- Reminder of the previous record (Bruno Peyron aboard the maxi-catamaran Orange II): 17 hours 56 minutes and 33 seconds, at an average speed of 25.53 knots.

The four previous records held by Groupama 3:
1. The Discovery Route (Cadiz - San Salvador) in 7 days, 10 hours and 58 minutes at an average speed of 21.7 knots
2. Miami - New York in 1 day, 11 hours and 5 minutes at an average speed of 27 knots
3. New York - Lizard Point in 4 days, 3 hours and 58 minutes at an average speed of 29.26 knots
4. Distance covered in 24 hours with 794 miles at an average speed of 33.08 knots.

Cammas - Groupama

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