Friday, May 15, 2009

Mediterranean crossing record...

Guilain GRENIER - Sea&Co

Mediterranean crossing record, Marseilles / Carthage
Groupama 3 set off on the Mediterranean record this Friday morning at exactly 0719 UT according to the representative from the W.S.S.R.C, responsible for observing the departure of the maxi trimaran owned by the insurer-banker Groupama.

Groupama 3 will have to arrive in Carthage before 01hrs 15' 33'' (UT) on Saturday 16th May in order to break the record set by Bruno Peyron.Squalls and reduced visibility accompanied her passage across the start line situated abeam of the Pomegues lighthouse (43° 15.7' N- 005° 17.4' E), at the exit from the harbour of Marseilles, on the islands of Frioul.Franck Cammas and his 6 crew set off with 2 reefs in the mainsail, staysail and gennaker aloft. The atmosphere onboard was one of concentration as the conditions expected throughout the course (458 miles) will most certainly be feisty.
Groupama 3 is heading southwards on starboard tack in a freshening tramontana and building seas. The first gybe is scheduled for around 1200 UT between 50 and 70 miles to the North-East of the Balearics. Around this zone the waves will be between 4 and 4.5 metres and there will be 30 to 35 knots of breeze, gusting to 40 knots! On the way out of the harbour of Marseilles, the target speed of 32 knots was reached! So they're off, bound for the open ocean with the wind in their sails and the bit between their teeth...