Cammas and crew claim another epic record - nearly 3,000 miles in a long weekend


They’ve done it. Franck Cammas and his crew on Groupama 3 have beaten the transatlantic record, scraping four-and-a-half hours off Orange 2’s time to finish in 4 days 3 hours and 57 minutes. It’s incredible to think that a 2,925-mile passage is now a long weekend’s sprint, and sooner or later this record is going to tumble to three days something.

I said I didn’t think Cammas would manage it and I’m pleased I was wrong. Despite breaking a daggerboard and having to sail several hundreds of miles south of the rhumb line to line up ahead of a crucial front, they passed through a lighter transition zone and flew in towards The Lizard in perfect phase with the weather, ahead of a low pressure system. In order to keep up an average over the distance covered of more than 33 knots (though were often up at 39 knots and must have had peaks of 45), they required a very narrow and precise range of apparent wind angles.

The deposed record holder Bruno Peyron was the first to congratulate them. The 800-mile day is round the corner, and Peyron firmly believes that the round the world time record he set in 2005 can be whittled down to an amazing 47 days, and that Groupama 3 might be the boat to do it this winter.

I think the photo above is the best illustration of the size of this 105ft monster.

The record in numbers
Distance: 2,925 miles
Time: 4d 3h 57m 54s
Average speed on the rhumb line: 28.6 knots
Average speed on distance covered: 33 knots
Top 24-hour run: 795 miles
Number of crew: 10