Groupama 3 and 10 men face the world

The ten man crew of French trimaran Groupama 3 set off yesterday on the Jules Verne Trophy attempt. They will need to cross this same line, between Lizard Point and the Creac’h lighthouse, after rounding the three capes, before 15 March at 00 hours 09 minutes 21 seconds (GMT) to snatch the round the world record.

The time to beat – the record is held by Bruno Peyron since 2005 – is 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes 4 seconds. In a fine NW’ly breeze of around 15 knots, under one reef main and staysail, Groupama 3 was making over 25 knots en route towards Cape Finisterre yesterday morning when she passed in front of Claude Le Breton, the WSSRC representative (World Sailing Speed Record Council). The weather conditions have been good for this first day at sea since the breeze has clocked progressively round to the North, filling in to 25 knots, and it should now shift round to the East near the Spanish coast, reaching more than 35 knots.

Skipper Franck Cammas and his team should then quickly make their escape on fine seas along the coast of Portugal, since there will be an offshore breeze. As a result the first 24 hours are likely to enable Franck Cammas and his nine crew to make it as far as Lisbon by this morning. At an average of over 27.6 knots during the first six hours, Groupama 3 already has a lead of over 34 miles on the reference time set by Bruno Peyron.