Franck CAMMAS and his nine crew on Groupama 3 needed only 6 days, 6 hours, 24 minutes and 43 seconds to cover the 2,960 miles separating Ushant from the Southern Hemisphere.
Groupama 3 crossed the equator at 15:15 today and even though conditions have not been ideal for the descent of the North Atlantic, has markedly improved on the reference time established by the trimaran Geronimo in 2003 during its passage of the equator (after 6 days, 11 hours and 26 minutes).
Thanks to this time, the giant trimaran has a lead of 20 hours and 32 minutes over Orange II (who wasn't blisteringly fast during the initial stage of its victorious trip around the world in 2005) in its quest for the Jules Verne Trophy, awarded for the outright round the world record.
With the exception of the first day at sea and a few squalls off the Canaries, Groupama 3 has essentially sailed in light to moderate breezes of normally less than 20 knots... yet she has still managed to set a new reference time to the equator.
Onboard Groupama, the mood is understandably positive, with everything going to plan so far, as Steve RAVUSSIN explained. "We aren't very tired as we were able to complete our sleep phases without being woken. We ate really well over the first three days thanks to the dishes prepared by our cook `Rochas' and now we've gone on to freeze-dried food with some excellent sauces... It's a great atmosphere aboard Groupama 3 and everything's going really well: Franck has adapted to the situation well with a larger crew than on a 60 footer,"
The next objective is the Cape of Good Hope, approximately 3,000 miles ahead.
The Record To Beat
Record: Round the World, non-stop
Yacht: Orange II
Skipper: Bruno PEYRON (FRA)
Dates: January-March 2005
Elapsed time: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds
Distance: 21,760 nm
Average Speed: 17.89 knots
Groupama 3 - www.cammas-groupama.com
World Sailing Speed Record Council - www.sailspeedrecords.com