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23 July 2007, 10:25 am
Atlantic Record Beckons
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WSSRC Record Attempt

On Thursday 19 July at 18:02'55''UTC, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3 passed the Ambrose Lighthouse off New York in a bid to challenge Bruno PEYRON and his North Atlantic reference time set a year earlier (4 days 8 hours 23 minutes 54 seconds). This Sunday, after over 2 days 20 hours at sea, 878 miles separate Franck CAMMAS and his crew from the finish line.
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Although the 32 metre trimaran has a 65 mile deficit on Orange 2's time, the crew is confident. Since this morning, the virtual difference between the two giants has continued to drop. Added to this, Groupama 3 is now on a direct course, its bows pointing straight towards Lizard Point.

They're on a flyer once again at over 30 knots of boat speed... After the hellish pace of the first 24 hours and yesterday's slight drop in speed, Groupama 3, which is finally sailing on port tack, has regained its true potential. With the zone of high pressure astern of them, Franck CAMMAS' men are now positioned on a long tack, chasing after the tail of the depression that will bring them home. 'At the current time we have 25-26 knots of wind and slightly messy seas which are slowing us down a little. We haven't yet completely caught up with the depression, so the wind isn't entirely stable. In 2-3 hour's time however, the situation will be more settled and we'll be able to make headway at a steadier and more homogenous pace' predicted Franck PROFFIT.

878 miles from the finish, the chances of Groupama 3 beating Bruno PEYRON'S record is occupying everyone's minds. According to Franck PROFFIT, contacted during the daily contact at noon: 'It's feasible! We've always been very positive about the finish, even after breaking the foil... we haven't given up! The passage of the zone of high pressure was pretty tricky to handle as it was the section where big losses or big gains were possible. I think we came out of it well. Our chances of beating the record today? I'd say 80 %' said the watch leader before going on to say: 'We're relatively confident, even if as I said before, it is still dependant on mechanical and technical failure...'

At 1500 hours UK time, Groupama 3 had a 65 mile deficit on Orange 2. A differential which Franck explains to us: 'During its record attempt, Orange had a totally exceptional weather situation, which enabled them to adopt the shortest possible course, which hasn't been the case for us. We've been penalised by the number of miles we've had to cover but now we're going to close in on that shortest course and all the miles we do from now on will be on a direct course. I think that's where we're going to make up our deficit, if not more...'

For the time being though, no hasty conclusions aboard the Van Peteghem - Lauriot Prévost design... The helmsmen are being rotated and the crew are mindful of the slightest details in order to drive Groupama 3 in the excellent manner it deserves.

24 Hour Record Falls (subject to ratification)

After an initial exceptional day of sailing 794 miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 33.08 knots, Franck CAMMAS and his nine crew robbed the record for the greatest distance covered in 24 hours from Bruno PEYRON. In so doing they improved on the performance of the skipper of Orange by over 27 miles. Of note is the fact that overnight, Groupama 3 also set a reference time of 795.2 miles, a figure yet to be ratified by the WSSRC.

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)
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