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24 July 2007, 09:25 am
The Atlantic in 100 Hours
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WSSRC Record Attempt

Franck CAMMAS and his nine crew have smashed the Atlantic crossing record in a time of 4 days 03 hours 57 minutes 54 seconds (subject to ratification), at an average of 28.65 knots over the 2,925 mile course. Groupama 3 crossed the finish line off Lizard Point on Tuesday at 00 hours 00 minutes 49 seconds (French time), improving on Bruno PEYRON'S time of (4d 08hr 23' 54'') by 4 hours 26 minutes.
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Nonetheless, the giant trimaran has not had ideal conditions for this historic record, officially established for the first time on 11 June 1905 by the Atlantic schooner helmed by the legendary Charlie BARR. For the past 102 years, this reference time has been beaten nine times by multihulls but the progress in speed has virtually tripled! In fact Groupama 3 has maintained an incredible average of over 28.6 knots for over four days... An unimaginable level just ten years ago, since it is greater than the ocean liners, which still cross the Atlantic today.

Setting the bar ever higher

As with pole vaulters, the bar has become increasingly difficult to surmount and yet, Franck CAMMAS and his crew already know that they can go below the symbolic four days to cross an ocean! Charlie BARR racked up his time by maintaining an average of over ten knots in 1905: Groupama 3 has already grazed thirty knots for a little more than four days at sea... And yet, the giant trimaran left New York as a last resort since the maxi-multihull's schedule meant they had to return to Europe before 25th July after being on stand-by since 11th June.

In this way, the weather situation at the start on Thursday 19 July at 20hrs 02m 55s off Ambrose Light (New York) only offered up a single, very narrow window that gave them a sniff of the record, though its evolution in the Atlantic was not totally clear: a depression for starters, a zone of high pressure to skirt to the North forcing them off the direct course and an unsettled area to follow with a N'ly of varying strength to end the course... Despite extending its trajectory in relation to the previous record set by Bruno PEYRON, Groupama 3's configuration proved favourable in the end for Franck CAMMAS and his crew, who had to continually get the very most from the giant trimaran. In so doing, the ten men devoured the last miles in the Channel at over 29 knots, snatching back even more minutes on their course time.

Crew in the North Atlantic

Franck CAMMAS (skipper) / Franck PROFFIT / Steve Ravussin / Frédéric LE PEUTREC / Loïc Le MIGNON / Yann Guichard / Bruno JEANJEAN / Sébastien AUDIGANE / Ronan LE GOFF / Pascal BLOUIN

Onshore: Jean-Yves BERNOT / Router

The day's figures

  • Groupama 3 at 13:48 UTC (14:48 UK time)
  • Latitude: 48°43.56 N- Longitude: 027°39.04 W
  • Instantaneous speed: 39.8 knots - Heading: 89°
  • Distance covered since the start: 1,987 miles
  • Average speed since the start: 29.33 knots
  • Distance still to cover: 878 miles

Visit the detailed cartography by clicking here

The Record To Beat

Record: Transatlantic west to east, Ambrose Light, New York, USA - Lizard Point, Great Britain
Yacht: Orange II
Skipper: Bruno PEYRON (FRA)
Dates: 2-6 July 2006
Elapsed time: 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds
Distance: 2,925 nm
Average Speed: 28 knots

Record: Greatest distance sailed in 24 hours - outright
Yacht: Orange II
Skipper: Bruno PEYRON (FRA)
Dates: 2-3 July 2006.
Start time and position: 40 48.56'N, 70 18.64'W at 1620 UTC on 2 July 2006
Finish time and position: 45 08.44'N, 53 50.20'W at 1620 UTC on 3 July 2006
Distance sailed: 766.8 nm
Average speed: 31.95 knots

Groupama 3 (As Amended By ISAF), Image: Groupama3 :© Yvan Zedda
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