After being forced to abandon the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt last year, the crew of Groupama 3 set off once more

After 11 days at sea last year, Groupama 3 was forced to abandon her Jules Verne Trophy record attempt after breaking the port beam bulkhead. The crew managed to sail the maxi-trimaran to Cape Town, where temporary repairs were made. Groupama then returned to Lorient, France – where structural repairs, rebuilding and sea trials were carried out before the start of this latest attempt. The crew has been on standby since mid January.

At 13h 55′ 53” UTC: Groupama 3 crossed the start line of the Jules Verne Trophy off the Créac’h lighthouse in Ushant. Franck Cammas and his nine crew set off at over twenty knots in a light N’ly breeze on the back of a mass of rain. This latest record attempt begins with some encouraging, albeit tricky weather conditions.

The crew must now cross the finish line off Ushant before 06h 14′ 57” on 23 March to break the current round the world record – i.e. they must complete the course spanning more than 21,600 miles, in less than 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes; the reference time for the Jules Verne Trophy set by Bruno Peyron and his crew in 2005.

Images from onboard Groupama 3 after suffering damage on record attempt two:

Franck Cammas would appear to have less favourable conditions than those on the two previous attempts (January 2008 and November 2009), however the extremely tight timing for hooking onto the next weather system as they pass Cape Finisterre and then the Canaries remains positive nonetheless. The weather routing gives a rough time of five and a half to six and a half days for reaching the equator. This translates as a very acceptable time for maintaining sufficient room for manœuvre with a view to Orange 2’s trajectory in 2005.

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