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25 April 2007, 02:59 pm
Groupama III Begins Discovery Route
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WSSRC Record Attempt

Franck CAMMAS'(FRA) new Groupama III multihull crossed the start line at Cadiz yesterday at 07:47:17 local time enroute to San Salvador on its first record attempt, the Discovery Route, named after the historical track taken by Christopher COLUMBUS.
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CAMMAS and his team are gunning for the record currently held by Steve FOSSETT and his maxi-catamaran Playstation: 9 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes and 18 seconds. To achieve a new record, Groupama III will need to arrive at the finish line by Thursday 3 May at 21:17:35.

For this first record attempt on the Discovery Route, Franck CAMMAS and Franck PROFFIT brought eight talented sailors on board Groupama III. In spite of different backgrounds - from Olympic multihull to oceanic trimaran and from America's Cup to Volvo Ocean Race - the maxi trimaran crew is a homogeneous and harmonious group.

The sailing crew is divided in a three watch system. On each watch, three men are on duty on deck; three are standing by, ready to help if a manoeuvre is necessary; and three are off duty, resting completely. This system is organized around three watch captains: Franck CAMMAS, as well as Franck PROFFIT and Steve RAVUSSIN, two well-known sailors by the Groupama trimarans skipper for having sailed double-handed with both of them on board his 60'.

Then, each watch is also composed by a bowman and a second helmsman. To fill theses positions on the Columbus Route record, Franck chose as second helmsman: Loic Le MIGNON, permanent member of Team Groupama, Sebastien AUDIGANE and Frederic LE PEUTREC. Former dinghy sailors, the three men have a sensibility at the helm essential to the good performances of the maxi trimaran. As bowman, Franck chose: Pascal BLOUIN, Groupama III's boat captain, Bruno JEANJEAN and Ronan LE GOFF, sailors in great demand for their experience. Ronan is, with Sebastien AUDIGANE, one of the current Jules Verne Trophy holders on board Groupama III. (The Jules Verne Trophy is currently held by Orange II).

Marcel VAN TRIEST (NED) will also be part of the team. During records, Marcel will be the navigator and thus 'off watch'. Responsible for receiving the weather reports and analyzing them, he is completely dedicated to routing, trying to find the most efficient route for Groupama III. (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Groupama: © Yvan Zedda
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