Only 124 miles separate Groupama 3 and the Jules Verne Trophy reference time set by the catamaran Orange 2 in 2005
Groupama 3 is almost back inside the Jules Verne Trophy reference time as she approaches the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, just seven days after passing Cape Agulhas in the final stage of the Indian Ocean.
Since the Crozet Islands, in the Southern Indian Ocean, Groupama 3 has constantly proven to be faster (at times ten knots quicker) than Orange 2. With a W to NW’ly wind of around twenty knots, Franck Cammas and crew are sailing safely, without putting too much pressure on the machine and without demanding excessive amounts of effort. The past 24 hours have been more active in terms of manoeuvres however.
“Everything’s going very smoothly: we’re being dealt weather conditions which aren’t particularly difficult for an Indian Ocean. We’re still chasing after Orange 2 but we’ve greatly reduced our deficit. On Saturday there was even some sunshine and we had a magical night with an extraordinarily starry sky. It’s my first adventure offshore and you simply can’t tire of it: time just flies by! I’m excited at the idea of passing Cape Leeuwin on Monday morning and after that it will be the Pacific and the Horn: it’s fantastic! Added to that I’m on watch with Thomas Coville and Steve Ravussin and we get on very well,” explained crewman Bruno Jeanjean at the 1130 UTC radio link-up with Groupama’s Race HQ in Paris.
Under large gennaker, staysail and full mainsail, Groupama 3 is still making headway at an average of nearly thirty knots, and are set to achieve the best time over this section of the course – between Cape Agulhas and the SW tip of Australia.
“We’re really not feeling fatigued because we’ve never had to draw on our reserves! Of course above thirty-five knots of speed, you get shaken about quite a lot and you have to hang on whilst you’re in your bunk, but we’re sleeping well. Thomas told me that this particular crossing of the Indian has gone fairly smoothly in relation to what he’s experienced here in the past… We’re still sailing on relatively well organised seas and for the time being, we’ve only had one 40 knot gust. Furthermore, it’s not cold and the sea temperature is still 10°C. Today we’ve had a good day of manoeuvring, switching between the large and small gennaker, with two gybes: that livens things up on deck,” added Bruno.
Groupama 3’s log over the past week:
Day 15 (15 February): 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)
Day 20: 672 miles (deficit 211 miles)
Day 21: 584 miles (deficit 124 miles)
To follow Franck Cammas and crew, visit www.cammas-groupama.com