It took five long years, but Bruno Peyron and Orange 2 no longer hold the record for the fastest circumnavigation under sail. That honor—and the Jules Verne Trophy that goes with it—now belongs to skipper Franck Cammas, navigator Stan Honey and the rest of the crew of the maxi-trimaran Groupama 3, which did it in an incredible 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds! That’s an average of 18.76 knots all the way from France to the Southern Ocean and back.
Cammas and crew crossed the finish line off the Crac'h lighthouse at Ushant, France, at about 20 minutes before 10 p.m., Saturday, March 20, beating the Orange 2 mark by 2 days 8 hours 35 minutes. The accomplishment is all the more impressive given that Groupama 3 had to turn back after its first attempt in late 2009 due to damage incurred in the South Atlantic. Setting out again on January 31 meant having to work with a less than ideal weather window.
As a result, the voyage has been a back and forth struggle against the Orange 2 reference time from the outset, with Groupama 3 falling hundreds of miles behind on multiple occasions. Only by staging a dazzling final sprint from the equator did the crew finally manage to put the record in the bag. By tearing up the North Atlantic in 6 days 10 hours 35 minutes, Groupama 3 quite simply pulverized the reference time over this section of the course.
For more on the record, click here