Groupama crew return to Paris to reveal plans for damaged tri

Eight of the crew of Groupama, the maxi-trimaran which capsized off New Zealand last week following the loss of a float, arrived back in France yesterday.

In Groupama’s press centre in Paris, they answered questions from journalists.

The most significant news from this meeting is the confirmation by that the adventure is continuing. The damage suffered by the giant trimaran is considerable but repairable – and Franck Cammas indicated that Groupama 3 was going to be loaded onto a cargo ship around 13th March with an arrival at the technical base in Lorient scheduled a month later.

The skipper also specified that the current assessment still hadn’t revealed the reasons behind the breakage of the float between the forward crossbeam and the port foil casing: “We’re going to discuss all this with the architects, the yard and the structural engineers. If this amounts to a design fault, then that means we were wrong but sailing remains a mechanical sport… We have a working base, which defines the stresses that the boat should be able to withstand and in the general project strategy, we never wanted to take risks: we didn’t put any less carbon in it than for Geronimo! We may have to look at our calculations again but the concept isn’t at fault.

The way Groupama 3 handled, its sensations at the helm, its performance and its Atlantic records confirm that the project is viable: we want to head back out again next winter with a trimaran, which will handle in the same type of way, but without any doubts in the back of our minds about the reliability of the boat! …”

The giant trimaran will therefore go into the yard as soon she returns to France. “A launch at the start of November can be envisaged, followed by a month of fine tuning and validation for the start of stand-by in December for the Jules Verne Trophy” detailed Franck Cammas.