Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last night the Doldrums slowed Groupama 3's progress, which was only able to rack up an average speed of around a dozen knots in a breeze rarely in excess of ten knots. At 0600 GMT, the giant trimaran had just 140 miles to go before reaching the equator.

It was to be expected: the Doldrums really began to make its presence felt from 4° North but normally it effects should begin to dissipate once the sun rises this Wednesday. This serious reduction in speed shouldn't prevent Franck Cammas and his nine crew from beating the intermediary record held by Geronimo (6d 11h 26') however.

Indeed, Groupama 3 is set to cross the equator at midday with a lead of a few hours over Olivier de Kersauson's record and nearly a day ahead of Orange II (7d 02h 56').On the other side of the equator, the forecast shows SE'ly tradewinds of about fifteen knots backing progressively E and filling in to twenty knots from 3° South. The giant trimaran will therefore accelerate considerably once more, making an average of 25 knots of boat speed for several days off Brazil.-