Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stand-by for Groupama 3

A new period of stand-by for Groupama 3 and the Jules Verne Trophy

After three weeks sailing off Lorient designed to validate the completion of work carried out since her South African stopover in December, the maxi trimaran Groupama 3, skippered by Franck Cammas, is today beginning a stand-by period for a fresh attempt at conquering the Jules Verne Trophy.

Ready to get down to work since 29th December, the date of her return from South Africa, the technical crew from Team Groupama, assisted by employees from the Multiplast and Gépéto yard, have now completed the reinforcement work, most of which has been performed on the aft sections of the floats: "Despite the highly unfavourable weather conditions, the work necessary to repair Groupama 3 and make her reliable have been completed. The three test sails offshore of Lorient have enabled the crew to really push the boat to ensure that everything's working as it should" confides Stéphane Guilbaud, team manager.

"It doesn't happen very often that we end up working in the snow or in temperatures of less than 0°. We had to install some heaters and covers to respect the specifications inherent in working with carbon material. All this was done whilst Groupama 3 was on the water and the schedule was fairly tight so as not to risk missing a favourable weather window for setting out on the Jules Verne" adds Pierre Tissier, technical manager.

As regards the crew, although navigator Stan Honey is at home in San Francisco and Ronan Le Goff is in Brazil, the eight remaining sailors are present on site at varying degrees. Franck Cammas, Fred Le Peutrec and Loïc Le Mignon are there on a daily basis, Lionel Lemonchois, Thomas Coville, Jacques Caraës and Stève Ravussin are available for the sailing, whilst Bruno Jeanjean is monitoring the preparation of Port de Palavas Les Flots, of which he is the captain.

However, despite being geographically divided, the crew remain focused on the same objective: "We're itching to get back out to sea, to get back together again and experience the same passion for the sea and speed. You tend to forget sometimes, but our past experiences have made us stronger. We know each other well and we like sailing on Groupama 3. She's a very fine boat. It's up to us to maintain her so that we can get right the way around, without any major problems" continues Fred Le Peutrec. Read more @ http://www.cammas-groupama.com