The maxi-trimaran is craned onto Dutch cargo ship headed for Europe 11/3/08

Only three weeks after Groupama 3’s capsize off the coast of New Zealand, the maxi-trimaran has been loaded onto theEglantiersgracht, a 140m long Dutch cargo ship transporting fruit and vegetables to Europe.

Under the expert eye of Jean-Marc Normant and Olivier Mainguy, the crew has craned Groupama 3 aboard, along with the pieces of mast and the float. Strapped down firmly to the deck, it will take about five weeks to get to France, where it will be unloaded in Lorient or Brittany – depending on which yard is chosen for reassembly.

During this crossing, construction of a new mast will begin at Lorima, along with the construction of a new float at Multiplast in Vannes.

However, conclusions still need to be drawn by the two teams working together to determine the cause of the damage suffered in the Pacific Ocean. These conclusions will allow the structure of the new float to be altered and the relevant modifications to be made to the starboard float, which was undamaged.

Whilst the shore crew, managed by Stephane Guilbaud, prepares for getting Groupama 3 back into shape, Franck Cammas is sailing. Attending the winter training sessions in La Trinite sur Mer aboard an Open 7.50 in the colours of Groupama, Franck is getting ready to defend his title in the Spi Ouest France, which he won last year.