Heading into the homestretch on its bid to set a new round-the-world record, Franck Cammas’ maxi-trimaran Groupama 3 remains locked in a head-to-head battle with its “virtual” competition, Bruno Peyron’s Orange 2.
Since setting sail on February 1, Cammas and crew have been keeping close tabs on their progress relative to that of Orange 2, the current holder of the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation under sail. In 2005, Peyron set a record of 50 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes—an average speed around the globe of 17.89 knots.
Plagued by bad weather, Groupama 3 was hundreds of miles off the record pace only a few days ago, but has since pulled ahead thanks in part to a quick passage through the doldrums. According to the team, the weather picture looks promising for the final sprint across the Atlantic.
“We have some good conditions, we're going fast and there's a great atmosphere on deck,” said Groupama 3 bowman Jacques Caras. “We're going to have a battle on our hands with a ridge of high pressure that's lying across our path. Nevertheless, we can really smell home now! We've been waiting for this moment to get ahead again... At times recently, it's been possible to read a bit of doubt on our faces. However, our routing was right, and we're beginning to make gains now.”
For the latest on the Groupama record attempt, click here.