763 miles in 24 hours for Franck Cammas and the maxi trimaran crew

The miles have been piling up by since Thursday for the maxi trimaran Groupama 3: 763.4 miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 31.8 knots. The stable W to NW’ly wind is enabling the crew to maintain a constant speed across a sea which remains manageable, and the deficit – in relation to the reference time – has shrunk away to less than 240 miles.
Having succeeded in getting ahead of the front circulating around the Roaring Forties as it shifts quickly across towards Tasmania, Groupama 3 finally clawed back some miles today. And as this wind-fuelled boost of speed is set to continue as far as the Pacific, the deficit on Orange 2 should be recovered over the course of the weekend.
“We’re going to unfurl the heavy gennaker as the NW’ly wind is easing off a little. In fact we’re switching between the solent jib when there’s 30-35 knots and the small gennaker when there’s no more than 27-32 knots of breeze. We’re really copping it at the helm… It’s raining a lot and there are big seas. That’s why we’re avoiding sending anyone up to the foredeck. I prefer a helmet but some of the others are wearing ski masks to stand up to the spray as it slaps against your face. Fortunately the water isn’t cold…” stated crewman Fréd Le Peutrec, at the 11:30 UTC radio link-up with Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris.

“We look to be on target to maintain this pace as far as Tasmania, or even as far as New Zealand. We may have to put in a few gybes to reposition ourselves, but the trajectory will remain very straight, in contrast to Orange 2 in 2005… For 48 hours, we’re still going to be pushed along by this thirty knot wind, then it will ease a little but the W’ly breeze will accompany us as far as the Pacific. Furthermore, if the depression stagnating over Auckland Island evacuates, we won’t have any real transition to negotiate at that point, which would be quite good!”
Groupama 3’s log over the past week:
(Number of miles covered in relation to the optimum course for the Jules Verne Trophy)

Day 13 (13 February): 719 miles (deficit 347 miles)
Day 14: 680 miles (deficit 288 miles)
Day 15: 651 miles (deficit 203 miles)
Day 16: 322 miles (deficit 376 miles)
Day 17: 425 miles (deficit 338 miles)
Day 18: 362 miles (deficit 433 miles)
Day 19: 726 miles (deficit 234 miles)

For more, visit www.cammas-groupama.com