Two huge French trimarans race each other and the clock for the Transatlantic record
Groupama 3 (103ft long) and Banque Populaire V (131ft) are both battering across the Atlantic in search of the record for the quickest fully crewed Transatlantic crossing under sail. The record, held by Franck Cammas’ Groupama 3, stands at 4d 3h 57m – less than 100 hours – which means an average of 29.26 knots for the 2,925-mile course from Ambrose Light to The Lizard.
Groupama is currently leading the charge, having covered 1,084 miles in 36 hours, at an average speed of over 34 knots. Pascal Bidegorry’s Banque Populaire V, which slipped her lines 2h 35m after Groupama 3, has battered her way through 1,110 miles. To break his record, Cammas has to bring Groupama 3 across the finish line before 0910GMT on Monday.
‘We’re leaving the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, flat out with the wind on the beam,’ said crewman Frédéric Le Peutrec, ‘The seas are gradually building, the breeze is increasing and we’re regularly making 35-40 knots of boat speed.
‘We can’t see much outside due to the fog, but the southwesterly wind isn’t cold, just damp. We have between 25 and 30 knots of breeze and if all goes to plan the wind is set to fill in, at which point conditions will become excellent for exceeding 800 miles in 24 hours.’