With only 2,000 miles to the finish line, Team Groupama remain confident
Groupama 3 is off the coast of Cape Verde and powering back into contention for the Jules Verne Trophy. The maxi trimaran has made up nearly 200 miles in the past 24 hours and the deficit is set to diminish further over the coming hours. On her 43rd day at sea, Orange 2 was at her slowest.
The Doldrums was virtually non-existent last night, though Franck Cammas had been rather wary of approaching the zone at dusk. Ultimately, not only was there little to worry about, but added to that the tradewinds are well established in the NE and the fifteen knots or so of breeze is enabling the giant trimaran to make an average speed close to, and even at times greater than thirty knots! At around this same time five years ago, Bruno Peyron and his crew were so tangled up in a ridge of high pressure that they only covered 180 miles on the 43rd day.
“We’re going to bring rain, with the sky full of contrasts… and we’re envisaging an arrival this coming weekend. We set out from Brest (also during a weekend) with a narrow weather window and it was at the back of our minds that it was possible the attempt would come to nothing at Cape Finisterre. As such we’re very happy to have got this far, still within the timing and still full of hope,” explained Frédéric Le Peutrec.
“We’ve managed to remain concentrated on our pace, on preserving the boat and with a pretty decent course in relation to the weather conditions we’ve experienced. The results are positive, even though it’s not over yet. Groupama 3 is a boat which really goes well in the light airs and into the wind, which is something we’ve really been able to make use of, as much in the descent and the ascent of the South Atlantic… We really believe we can do it! We’re eager to see you again.”
There will be a ridge of high pressure to negotiate from Tuesday evening, before joining up with a low which will bring with it SW’ly breezes. It’s also possible these winds will accompany them all the way to the finish off Ushant. This will be the final weather barrier before the sprint to the finish, on a virtually direct course towards Brittany. Groupama 3 has just 2,000 miles to cover.
Groupama 3’s log over past week:
Day 37 (9 March: 506 miles (deficit 331 miles)
Day 38: 321 miles (deficit 384 miles)
Day 39: 255 miles (deficit 309 miles)
Day 40: 288 miles (deficit 473 miles)
Day 41: 503 miles (deficit 483 miles)
Day 42: 445 miles (deficit 403 miles)
Day 43: 482 miles (deficit 216 miles)
To follow the crew, visit www.cammas-groupama.com