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    Off round the world

    November 5, 2009

    Franck Cammas and his crew aboard the giant 31.5 meter trimaran Groupama 3 have set off on their challenge for the Jules Verne Trophy.  I’m a fan of these giant racing sailboats and envious of how French sailors can attract such a huge public following which in turn provides huge sponsorship.  Groupama SA is a mutual insurance company, bank and financial services provider and has been sponsoring Cammas and his boats for 12 years.

    groupama3

    At 15h 50′ 22” UTC this afternoon the boat passed the start line off the Créac’h lighthouse on northUshant in a good NW’ly breeze and big seas. Cammas and his nine crew will have to be back from their circumnavigation of the globe spanning over 24,000 miles, prior to the morning of 26th December.

    The Jules Verne Trophy course (21,760 nautical miles).
    It begins by crossing the start line defined by an imaginary line linking the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant and the Lizard Point lighthouse. From there the aim is to circumnavigate the globe by leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port, and crossing the finish line, described above, in the opposite direction.

    Time to beat: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds
    On 20th April 1993 Bruno Peyron headed a team which completed the first legendary round the world in 79 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds and thus became the first crew to win the `Jules Verne Trophy’.

    In seventeen years there have been twenty attempts to beat the record, only six of which have borne fruit: Bruno Peyron in 1993, Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston in 1994, Olivier de Kersauson in 1997, Bruno Peyron in 2002, Olivier de Kersauson in 2004 and Bruno Peyron again in 2005.

    In 2005, Bruno Peyron placed the bar very high: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds.  As such Groupama 3 must cross the finish line off Ushant before 26th December (St Stephen’s Day) at 08h 09′ 26” UTC.

    The boat’s website and race tracker showing their pace compared with Peyron in 2005.

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