Franck Cammas and crew make up deficit of day one with average speeds of 30 knots

Groupama 3 has already made up the deficit she accumulated during the first day in relation to the reference time. In less than twenty hours, the 120 miles differential off Portugal had already been devoured as Franck Cammas and his crew were making headway to the West of Madeira at an average speed in excess of thirty knots.
Yesterday afternoon (3 February), Groupama 3 was negotiating a course to the West of the low pressure settled over the archipelago of Madeira, in order to benefit from a steady NE’ly wind. With these downwind conditions and a relatively manageable sea, Franck Cammas and his crew of nine have been able to rack up 560 miles in the past 24 hours. Since leaving Ushant on Sunday at 13h 55′ 53” (UTC), the giant trimaran already has 1,060 miles under her belt. Furthermore, they are dramatically picking up the pace, which should enable them to rake in a lead over Orange 2’s reference time during the coming days.

Groupama 3 crossing the start line on 31 January 2010:

Attention remains key though as they prepare to tackle the wind shift due to take place. The N’ly wind will give way to a NW’ly breeze, which will drop off to the South of the Canaries. Once again a barrier of high pressure will move across and it is imperative that Groupama 3 quickly locates the NE’ly tradewinds, which are reorganising themselves offshore of the Mauritanian coast.
“We’re already back into our rhythm without taking any chances with the boat…We’re in the process of unfurling the heavy airs gennaker, as we’ve been making twenty-eight to thirty knots under solent jib and one reef in the mainsail up till now. The sea isn’t very organised, but over the coming hours, we’re likely to have got through the strongest wind,” explained Lionel Lemonchois.

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