Monday, March 1, 2010

Groupama 3: Hunkering down in the storm

Jules Verne Trophy
Groupama 3 has been forced to distance herself from the direct route towards the Horn in order to skirt around a very fast low, which is circulating around sixty degrees or so South. The sea state is making the life of Franck Cammas and his men, tough, tiring and very wet.

Under two reefs in the mainsail and staysail, the giant trimaran is driving hard towards the ENE to avoid the most violent zone in a disturbed system, which is tracking across towards Cape Horn at 45 knots. 80 knot (145 km/hr) winds were blowing around Drake's Passage this Monday lunchtime!

"We're sailing in a steady wind of up to 37 knots, and the seas are fairly chaotic and pretty big. It's not easy to negotiate... It's very wet on deck and the helmsmen are trying to protect themselves behind the windscreen, which is in a very sad state of repair, held together by lines. There's a cross swell with a few high waves (2-3 metres) and the boat comes to a standstill in a wave from time to time. We're being shaken about quite a lot and it's very uncomfortable. Fatigue has set in and the manoeuvres are a lot more laborious. We're having to remain prudent" indicated Jacques Caraës at the 1130 UTC radio-link up with Groupama's Race HQ in Paris.
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