Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Groupama 3 : Prêt à partir.... de Brest !

Jules Verne Trophy 2009 - 2010

Arriving in Brest on the afternoon of 26th October, Groupama 3 is now ready to set off on her bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy from 1st November onwards.

"We're seeking to gain any advantage we can. Setting out from Brest will be easier from a maritime viewpoint, both in terms of hoisting the sails in the lee of the harbour, and making for the start line off Ushant with what we expect will be a fairly strong N'ly wind" explains Franck Cammas.

For this final sail between Lorient, the home port for the Groupama trimarans since 1998, and Brest, five of the ten Jules Verne crew were aboard. Boat captain Loïc Le Mignon was naturally in position, as well as Bruno Jeanjean, Lionel Lemonchois and finally Thomas Coville, who knows the port at the tip of Brittany like the back of his hand: "I have a lot of memories of this place. Some good, some bad, but none that have left me feeling indifferent".

Moored in the new port of Le Château, just in front of La Boudeuse, Groupama 3 is making the most of the fine facilities in Brest to finish off the vast amount of preparation: "We still have to remove the propulsion engine and lift out the propeller shaft" explains Yann Mérour, a native of Brest in charge of logistics. He adds: "The supplies will be loaded as soon as the bilges are clean, on Wednesday or Thursday".

Responsible for keeping an eye on Groupama 3, Yann and his team will be making regular return trips between Lorient and Brest: "There are always a few details that can be improved on; a boat is never ready" he concludes, though he is not averse to making the most of the stand-by period in Brest to invite his friends along to admire the maxi trimaran. Meantime, some of the other members of the team will be deciphering the grib files on a daily basis, in search of the right weather window... -