Atlantic challenge

Today sees the start of the period of stand-by for Groupama 3 in her attempt at the North Atlantic record. Holder of this record since 23rd July 2007 with a time of 4 days, 3 hours and 57 minutes, the maxi trimaran skippered by Franck Cammas has been given until 18th August to find the weather conditions. The aim is obviously an improvement on their own reference time and hopefully one that sees them complete the course in under four days.

In Gateway Marina, at the entrance to the port of New York, Groupama Team’s shore crew has finished preparing the maxi trimaran. With the engine removed, the racing sails in position and the hull inspected and cleaned, everything is now ready for Groupama 3 to set off to conquer the ocean.

During this time, onshore, Sylvain Mondon from Meteo France, Stan Honey, navigator, and Franck Cammas, have been analysing the grib files. Each morning, Sylvain sends the team a summary of his observations, which is subsequently discussed. As skipper, it’s up to Franck Cammas to decide on the colour of the code that will organise the life of the team and the crew. For today it’s code RED. This means that there is no weather window opening and hence no departure within the next 120 hours, or 5 days.

To beat the record, one minute will do (World Sailing Speed Record Council rule). To succeed, the skipper of Groupama 3 has brought together a first class crew. Indeed, half of them were aboard during the 2007 record (Steve Ravussin, Fred Le Peutrec, Loic Le Mignon, Ronan Le Goff, Bruno Jeanjean) but there are also some top rate newcomers too: Lionel Lemonchois, Bernard Stamm, Olivier Mainguy and Stan Honey.