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14 March 2010, 07:54 pm
Groupama 3 Passes The Equator One Day Down On World Record Pace
Groupama 3's GPS as she crosses the equator
Groupama 3's GPS as she crosses the equator

World Record Attempt

Groupama 3 crossed the equator for the second time on Sunday, 41 days, 21 hours and 9 minutes into her round the world record attempt, just over 1 day and 2 hours slower the current record holder Orange II.
The final marker before the finish off the Créac'h lighthouse, the equator was traversed this Sunday at 11:04:53 UTC, after 41 days 21 hours 09 minutes at sea. This equates to a deficit of 1 day, 2 hours and 4 minutes in relation to the reference time. Such a separation might seem sizeable, but it should quickly be reduced in the tradewinds of the northern hemisphere.

Full of energy for the ascent, the crew of Groupama 3 is still just as concentrated in this final phase between the switch of hemispheres and the island of Ushant some 3,350 miles ahead. The last mission for Franck Cammas (FRA) and his nine crew is to set a minimum time of 8 days and 19 hours to devour the North Atlantic, which amounts to an average speed of 15.9 knots along the optimum course... Such a speed is totally within the grasp of the giant trimaran, which is likely to enjoy some favourable weather conditions for this final sprint, since the NE'ly tradewinds are in position after the Doldrums, the latter of which is situated at around 4°N.

High Pressure Shift

"Last night was laborious with some squalls developing incredibly quickly and following what was already a light tradewind. We endured some long spells with just 7 to 8 knots of breeze, which was lighter than forecast by the weather models. At night, without a moon to accompany us, we fire up the radar, which enables us to see any rain squalls that may kill the wind. We did suffer a little bit as we couldn't really do what we wanted in relation to our weather forecast" indicated Franck Cammas at the radio link-up with Groupama's Race HQ.

Reasonably worried by this transition of hemispheres, the skipper of Groupama 3 should soon find something to smile about again as the zone of high pressure, which had stabilised over France, is curling up on itself as it shifts across towards the Mediterranean. As such Groupama 3's trajectory towards Ushant could well be very pure: "It's true that the forecasts are rather encouraging for the end of our trip. However, it's also true that there is sometimes a discrepancy between the forecasts and the reality. The past few hours have been proof of that" continued Cammas, who was preparing for a tricky night ahead: "I'd have preferred to traverse the Doldrums by day rather than night as it would have been less active. However, fortunately Groupama 3 is at ease in the light airs."

Clearly disappointed, the skipper of Groupama 3 is sure of one thing: the quality of his crew, whose fighting spirit and determination are stronger than ever. "The watches are pretty active. When there are manoeuvres to be performed, there are always seven of us on deck, and then just three are required for trimming: we spend our time racing between the sheets, the coffee grinder and looking at the shape of the sails with a torch. We're trying to claw back a very important few tenths of a knot and, in addition to that, this boat is very sensitive to the slightest trim adjustment: there is quite a lot to do and so we're playing with all that whilst trying to react as quickly as possible to the elements."

Groupama 3's log (departure on 31 January at 13:55:53 UTC)

Day 1 (1 February 1400 UTC): 500 miles (deficit = 94 miles)
Day 2 (2 February 1400 UTC): 560 miles (lead = 3.5 miles)
Day 3 (3 February 1400 UTC): 535 miles (lead = 170 miles)
Day 4 (4 February 1400 UTC): 565 miles (lead = 245 miles)
Day 5 (5 February 1400 UTC): 656 miles (lead = 562 miles)
Day 6 (6 February 1400 UTC): 456 miles (lead = 620 miles)
Day 7 (7 February 1400 UTC): 430 miles (lead = 539 miles)
Day 8 (8 February 1400 UTC): 305 miles (lead = 456 miles)
Day 9 (9 February 1400 UTC): 436 miles (lead = 393 miles)
Day 10 (10 February 1400 UTC): 355 miles (lead = 272 miles)
Day 11 (11 February 1400 UTC): 267 miles (deficit = 30 miles)
Day 12 (12 February 1400 UTC): 247 miles (deficit = 385 miles)
Day 13 (13 February 1400 UTC): 719 miles (deficit = 347 miles)
Day 14 (14 February 1400 UTC): 680 miles (deficit = 288 miles)
Day 15 (15 February 1400 UTC): 651 miles (deficit = 203 miles)
Day 16 (16 February 1400 UTC): 322 miles (deficit = 376 miles)
Day 17 (17 February 1400 UTC): 425 miles (deficit = 338 miles)
Day 18 (18 February 1400 UTC): 362 miles (deficit = 433 miles)
Day 19 (19 February 1400 UTC): 726 miles (deficit = 234 miles)
Day 20 (20 February 1400 UTC): 672 miles (deficit = 211 miles)
Day 21 (21 February 1400 UTC): 584 miles (deficit = 124 miles)
Day 22 (22 February 1400 UTC): 607 miles (deficit = 137 miles)
Day 23 (23 February 1400 UTC): 702 miles (lead = 60 miles)
Day 24 (24 February 1400 UTC): 638 miles (lead = 208 miles)
Day 25 (25 February 1400 UTC): 712 miles (lead = 371 miles)
Day 26 (26 February 1400 UTC): 687 miles (lead = 430 miles)
Day 27 (27 February 1400 UTC): 797 miles (lead = 560 miles)
Day 27 (27 February 1400 UTC): 560 miles (lead = 517 miles)
Day 29 (1 March 1400 UTC): 434 miles (lead = 268 miles)
Day 30 (2 March 1400 UTC): 575 miles (lead = 184 miles)
Day 31 (3 March 1400 UTC): 617 miles (lead = 291 miles)
Day 32 (4 March 1400 UTC): 492 miles (lead = 248 miles)
Day 33 (5 March 1400 UTC): 445 miles (lead = 150 miles)
Day 34 (6 March 1400 UTC): 461 miles (lead = 58 miles)
Day 35 (7 March 1400 UTC): 382 miles (deficit = 100 miles)
Day 36 (8 March 1400 UTC): 317 miles (deficit = 326 miles)
Day 37 (9 March 1400 UTC): 506 miles (deficit = 331 miles)
Day 38 (10 March 1400 UTC): 321 miles (deficit = 384 miles)
Day 39 (11 March 1400 UTC): 255 miles (deficit = 309 miles)
Day 40 (12 March 1400 UTC): 288 miles (deficit = 473 miles)
Day 41 (13 March 1400 UTC): 503 miles (deficit = 483 miles)
Day 42 (14 March 1400 UTC): 445 miles (deficit = 403 miles)

The Record To Beat

Record: Round the World, non stop, crewed, any type
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 nautical miles
Average Speed: 17.89 knots

Get the latest updates from Groupama 3 at www.cammas-groupama.com

Groupama 3 Media (As Amended By ISAF)
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