Monday, 10 August 2009

Groupama: Bunched Finish (2nd August 2009)

Groupama 3 team at the finish. Image copyright Benoit Stichelbaut/Sea&Co.

by Vincent Borde

Groupama 3 crossed the finish line on her Transatlantic record attempt this Sunday 2nd August at 1425 UT. The trimaran driven by Franck Cammas and his nine crew took 3 days 18 hours 12 minutes 56 seconds to cover the 2,880 miles which separate the Ambrose Light (New York) from Lizard Point (Cornwall, UK) at the average speed of 31.92 knots (57 km/hr).

The transatlantic record held by Groupama 3 since 2007 (4d 03h 57' 54'') was considerably improved upon by Banque Populaire V, which completed the course at 1417' UT this Sunday (3d 15h 25' 48''), but the trimaran driven by Franck Cammas and his nine crew was just three miles astern... As such, setting out with a two and a half hour separation, Groupama 3 hasn't scored the best time between New York and Lizard Point, but she has nonetheless pulled off an incredible performance in 3 days 18 hours 12 minutes 56 seconds. In so doing, Franck Cammas' trimaran completed the course twelve minutes after the new Transatlantic record holder... An incredible finish with the two rivals within sight of each other!

The comeback by Franck Cammas and his nine crew during this final section of the course is a positive element when comparing the potential of the two trimarans. Indeed it demonstrates that although Banque Populaire V proved that she was extremely quick with eased sheets in the breeze (in over twenty five knots of true wind), covering 907 miles in 24 hrs and reaching speeds of around 40 knots, Groupama 3, with her nine fewer metres of length, confirmed that she was still fast the minute the wind eased to below twenty knots. In fact, Franck Cammas' trimaran made up ground on its rival over the last twelve hours, snatching back forty miles or so, and making the Lizard with a deficit of just three miles. Ultimately though, Banque Populaire V beat Groupama 3 by around 2hr47, which amounts to a 3% separation along the Transatlantic route!

The Groupama Group, Franck Cammas and his nine crew would like to congratulate Pascal Bidégorry and his crew on their new Transatlantic record (3d 15h 25 mn and 48 sec). Groupama 3 is now making towards her base and Franck Cammas and his nine crew are expected into Lorient, Brittany at 0700 UT on Monday.

The numbers:
Shortest distance: 2,880 nautical miles
Average speed: 31.92 knots along the shortest route
Actual distance covered by Groupama 3: 2,915 nautical miles
Crossing time: 3 days 18 hours 12 minutes and 56 seconds
Gain in relation to the 2007 record: 9 hours 44 minutes
Deficit in relation to Banque Populaire 5: 2 hours 47 minutes
Best distance covered in 24 hours: 857.5 nautical miles

The crew of Groupama 3
• Franck Cammas, skipper, watch leader, helm
• Frédéric Le Peutrec, watch leader, helm, boat manager
• Stève Ravussin, watch leader, helm
• Loïc Le Mignon, second helm
• Lionel Lemonchois, second helm
• Bernard Stamm, second helm
• Ronan Le Goff, bowman
• Bruno Jeanjean, bowman
• Olivier Mainguy, bowman
• Stan Honey, navigator

• On shore: Sylvain Mondon. Router (Météo France)

Cammas - Groupama

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