Sunday, 2 August 2009

Groupama 3 - The 800 mile barrier surpassed!!!

by Vincent Borde

Propelled along by a disturbed system coming across from Canada and heading towards Great Britain, Groupama 3 has benefited from some ideal conditions to break the 24 hour distance record. Franck Cammas and his nine crew are the first to break the symbolic 800 mile limit by covering 841 miles at an average of over 35 knots!

The acceleration in time is incredible! In less than ten years, the gain in speed under sail over 24 hours has increased by over 250 miles, which is an average of over ten knots (17 km/h), a bonus of nearly 30%! Indeed Groupama 3 racked up 841 miles in 24 hours this Saturday morning and their pace is such that Franck Cammas and his nine crew are likely to improve on that still further over the next few hours... It is a record which has been a reference to sailors around the world for a long time: the first sailboats to break the 300 mile barrier in a day were the American clippers (1846), equipped to make the journey to San Francisco from New York or Boston in the quest for Canadian gold. With the construction of the maxi-multihulls for great oceanic racing, the 500 mile barrier was exceeded by the Canadian Mike Birch in 1984. Six years later it was the New Zealand sailor Grant Dalton who racked up over 600 miles, then in 2004 Bruno Peyron pushed the barrier beyond 700 miles...

From record to record
During her victorious campaign across the Atlantic in 2007, Groupama 3 bagged the Discovery Route record (Cadiz-San Salvador), then that between Miami and New York. Following on from this, during her Transatlantic attempt where she set the reference time which still holds today (4d 03h 57' 54'' between New York and Lizard Point, on 24th July 2007), Franck Cammas and his crew also snatched the record for the greatest distance covered in 24 hours, with an average of 794 miles at an average speed of 33.08 knots! Today this new distance of over 800 miles by Groupama 3 marks the exceptional potential of this trimaran designed for the Jules Verne Trophy circumnavigation of the globe and oceanic records. Furthermore, in light of the average speeds recorded over the past few hours, the number of miles covered in one day are set to climb still further...

However, the primary objective of the crew remains the Transatlantic record: this Saturday morning at 0100 UT, there were just 1,182 miles to devour and as the weather conditions are still highly favourable this weekend, it is increasingly likely that the four day barrier for traversing the ocean will tumble... At 0100 UT Groupama 3 had a 146 mile lead over the reference time, which amounts to around five hours! And in relation to the chasing trimaran, which set out from New York two and a half hours later, the separation remains stable at around ten miles...

The best distances covered in 24 hours
• 1854: Champion of the Sea (USA) monohull 67.50 metres = 467 miles
• 1984: Formule Tag (CAN), catamaran 24.40 metres (Mike Birch) = 512.5 miles
• 1987: Fleury Michon 8 (FRA), trimaran 22.80 metres (Philippe Poupon) = 517 miles
• 1990: Jet Services V (FRA), catamaran 22.80 metres (Serge Madec) = 522.73 miles
• 1994: Lyonnaise des Eaux (FRA), trimaran 22.50 metres (Olivier de Kersauson) = 524.63 miles
• 1994: Primagaz (FRA), trimaran 18.24 metres (Laurent Bourgnon) = 540 miles
• 1994: Explorer (FRA), catamaran 25.65 metres (Bruno Peyron) = 547.3 miles
• 1999: PlayStation (USA), catamaran 32.90 metres (Steve Fossett) = 580.23 miles
• 2000: Club Med (NZL), catamaran 33.50 metres (Grant Dalton) = 625.7 miles
• 2001: Club Med (NZL), catamaran 33.50 metres (Grant Dalton) = 655.2 miles
• 2001: PlayStation (USA), catamaran 37.90 metres (Steve Fossett) = 687.17 miles
• 2002: Maiden 2 (GBR), catamaran 33.50 metres (Cahalan-Darvelid-Thompson) = 694.78 miles
• 2004: Orange II (FRA), catamaran 36.60 metres (Bruno Peyron) = 706.2 miles
• 2006: Orange II (FRA), catamaran 36.60 metres (Bruno Peyron) = 766.8 miles
• 2007: Groupama 3 (FRA), trimaran 31.50 metres (Franck Cammas) = 794 miles
• 2009: Groupama 3 (FRA), trimaran 31.50 metres (Franck Cammas) = 841 miles (35.04 knots)

Cammas - Groupama

No comments: