Francis Joyon is leaving. In a few days, he will address the prestigious North Atlantic record. Success would make him the first skipper to win the incredible “Grand Slam” of records. Joyon will be on stand-by in New York from May 15. Yesterday evening the skipper was in Paris for a great evening presentation at Pershing Hall in the presence of three of the four solo Atlantic record holders Florence Arthaud, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron, current record holder. His record will be challenged shortly by the skipper of the Maxi-trimaran IDEC.
Hold 21 knots average for less than 5 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes. Alone. On the demanding North Atlantic. That’s the challenge with the high bar set by Thomas Coville in July 2008. Francis Joyon will sail between the Statue of Liberty and the English Cornwall. To be precise between Ambrose Light in New York and that the Lizard in the south of England . In that in-between are heavy waves, winds and icebergs to content with while sailing at breakneck speeds.
Energy Team has officially become Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup.
Launched and run by Loïck and Bruno Peyron, this challenge is backed by the prestigious Yacht Club de France. The construction of the first AC72 multihull will begin at the Multiplast yard in Vannes on the 1st September.
Within a month of the official announcement last September that the America’s Cup was to be raced aboard multihulls, the Peyron brothers announced that they wanted to bring French know-how together to set up a Challenge to attempt to win the prestigious trophy. That is exactly what they have now achieved.
Energy Team, the new French challenge set up around Bruno and Loïck Peyron, has been officially registered for the 34th America’s Cup since 27th January 2011. It has become the sixth Challenger aiming to grab the silver ewer.
Energy Team backed by the Yacht Club de France
The America’s Cup has always been a challenge between yacht clubs. Loïck and Bruno Peyron will be benefiting from some prestigious support, as it is the Yacht Club de France, which is taking the Energy Team challenge to the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco. Energy Team will have everything going for them to defend French hopes, and aims to be one of the most competitive Challengers starting at the Louis Vuitton Cup events. Energy Team’s ambition is to do all it can to take part in the next two editions and to win the America’s Cup. Bruno Peyron is the project’s general manager, Loïck the official skipper of the boats, will also be in charge of the Design Team.
The AC72 to be built at Multiplast
To fulfil this ambition, Energy Team has signed an exclusive partnership with Multiplast, the boatyard based in Vannes (Brittany), which is one of the international references in the world of multihull construction (Orange I and II, Groupama 3). The Multiplast yard will be reserved for Energy Team. The construction of the first AC72 catamaran will begin on 1st September with her launch planned for April 2012. Yann Penfornis, managing director of the yard, will be coordinating the AC 72 design and construction teams, under the supervision of Loïck Peyron.
The first AC 45, the little sister to the AC 72, will be delivered to Energy Team in March 2011, so they may begin training in Auckland.
19 multihulls training
To train and then to race, Energy Team will have at its disposal an impressive fleet of multihulls of all sizes, with seventeen in all available to them: four Class A boats, four F18s, a D35, an X40, a G-Class (the former Orange II), two AC45s and two AC72s… plus four “F25s”, which are a 1/3 scale model of the AC72s, which will be used for the America’s Cup.
The Energy Team base, the nerve centre of the project, will be set up on the Atlantic coast of France. It will include three centres: one in Vannes, the Multiplast yard, which will be the construction and technological development base; one in Lorient, which will be dedicated to the AC72 and G-Class catamarans; and finally one in La Baule, which will both be the main training centre for the squad and the operations centre for all the work with partners and the media.
Core members of the team
The core members of the Racing Team are already in place and bring together a wealth of experience in four major areas that are vital for performance. The core members so far appointed include the following:
Loïck Peyron, skipper of the AC45 and AC72: 6 times F60 world champion, 8 times F28 Trophy Champion winner,
Bruno Peyron: 8 times world ocean records champion, skipper of the G Class, which will be the ambassador for Energy Team,
Yann Guichard: helmsman with Loïck Peyron : Extreme 40 world number 2, Member of the French Olympic team,
Thierry Fouchier: performance team, the only Frenchman to have won the America’s Cup with BMW Oracle Racing aboard which he was the wing sail trimmer.
Jean-Christophe Mourniac: performance team, member of the French Olympic team, one of the world’s top 5 Tornado and F18 racers over the past ten years.
Yves Loday: coach for young talent. Former member of the French Olympic team, he was Tornado gold medallist in Barcelona in 1992. He will be joining the team to prepare the “Youth America’s Cup” that the American Defender is launching.
The executive committee in place
Within the executive committee of Energy Team set up around Loïck and Bruno Peyron, we can find such influential members as Philippe Court, President and Gérard Petipas, Vice-President of the Yacht Club de France, but also various personalities, whose expertise and skills can only be beneficial, from a strategic as well as a marketing, business and legal perspective. François Château, President of the Salans international law firm (in charge of the legal aspects of the project), Erik Maris, from the Messier Maris consulting agency and Thierry Reboul, President of the event management agency Ubibene, which will be taking care of the marketing strategy and partnership packages.
• 26th October 2010 : 1st announcement made by Loïck and Bruno Peyron
• 27th January 2011 : The Yacht Club de France becomes the official Yacht Club for the ENERGY TEAM challenge
• 27th January 2011 : ENERGY TEAM, 6th official challenger
• March 2011 : Official closing date for registrations
• March 2011 : Launch of the first Energy Team AC45
• June 2011 : Start of the AC World Series
• April 2012 : Launch of the first Energy Team AC72
• 13th July to 1st September 2013 : San Francisco, Louis Vuitton Cup.
• 7th to 22nd September 2013 : San Francisco, final match
Philippe Court, President of the Yacht Club de France: “ …after attempting without success to bring together the two potential teams that have declared themselves, it seemed to us not just the normal thing to do, but a necessity that the YCF and its board support Bruno and Loick Peyron’s project to take a challenge to the Golden Gate Yacht Club by becoming Official Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup. It was normal because with the new format for the America’s Cup, Bruno and Loick’s list of achievements in multihull racing, a real French speciality, confirms their place, as well as their technical and managerial skills, making these two exceptional sailors the best candidates for a French attempt in the Cup. It is a necessity as it fits in perfectly with the mission of the YCF to take part in any attempt, where France (finally) has a serious chance of seizing victory in the America’s Cup, after taking part in every edition since 1970.”
Russell Coutts: “It’s fantastic that we’ve got another team in the America’s Cup and what should be a very competitive one. Obviously Loïck and Bruno Peyron have a lot of multihull experience and they know how to campaign these boats and Loïck was very involved in the last America’s Cup. So I think it’s fantastic that they are in this. I know they have been wanting to get into this and it’s great to see they have lodged their entry.”
Richard Worth, CEO America’s Cup Race Management: “The America’s Cup will be presenting the world’s best sailors on the fastest boats and that is why, we are pleased to welcome the Yacht Club de France and the strong Energy Team, which is well-known for its huge experience of multihull sailing.”
The Yacht Club de France,
Founded on 15th June 1867 under the patronage of Emperor Napoleon III, it is one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in France. Among its members, it has included such famous people as Jules Verne, Virginie Hériot, Alain Gerbault, Commander Charcot, Marin-Marie and more recently Eric Tabarly.
After studying the matter for several months and following various discussions, the French sailors Loïck and Bruno Peyron are getting together in an attempt to unite the leading figures from French multihull sailing. This new challenge is being set up with the goal of bringing the America’s Cup, which will be raced on multihulls in 2013, to France for the first time in its history.
- A meeting between Russell Coutts, representing the Defender and organiser of the 34th America’s Cup, and the Peyron brothers was held in Paris on Friday, to discuss how France could take part in such an ambitious project as the America’s Cup.
- Bruno and Loïck Peyron have also announced they are in talks with Stéphane Kandler, Jochen Schümann (twice winner of the America’s Cup) and their ALL4ONE team, with the prospect of bringing the two groups together.
Are the French able to win the America’s Cup, the world’s oldest international sporting trophy? A goal, which France, ever since Baron Bich’s first challenge in 1967, has been unable to reach. It is certainly a very complex project, even though no one doubts the ability of French designers, sailors and builders, this is not by itself enough to guarantee success.
The America’s Cup, just like Formula 1 motor racing, is a global event, an economic and technological war, just as much as being a sporting challenge. Between now and the end of March, the new team that is being formed will have to prove it has got what it takes to commit itself. They will then have three years ahead of them to prove they can win.
The America’s Cup revolution of 2013
For 2013, something which no one really expected is happening. The Defender and Challenger of Record announced on 13th September that the 34th America’s Cup will be raced aboard multihulls, and more precisely on 72-foot catamarans with rigid wingsails. This announcement led to a wave of optimism from the French, meaning the conquest of the Silver Ewer is more likely to be within the grasp of the world’s leading multihull specialists in France.
A sacred union of multihull racers
After doing battle for 30 years on the world’s oceans and between them obtaining the finest list of successes in ocean racing, Loïck and Bruno Peyron coming together is an unprecedented opportunity for the French in challenging for the America’s Cup.
The two brothers have set a target of three months to try to bring together all the necessary personnel and resources, from a sporting, technological and economic perspective, to achieve this goal.
This major challenge is open to all the talents in France and abroad with the aim of bringing together the two worlds of multihull racing and the America’s Cup, to try and conquer the most famous sailing event in the world.
Bruno Peyron: “With the America’s Cup being organised for the first time with multihulls, the challenge is clear for us: Is France, the world leader in multihulls for 30 years capable of capitalising on its assets or will it allow other nations to catch up in three years, what we have acquired over 30? We have three months ahead of us to answer that question and three years to show what we can do. Looking beyond individual concerns, and any protectionism, I am convinced that we need to unite to be in with a chance of winning. This first symbolic step must build the foundations to allow skills, wherever they come from to be brought together.
This will be carried out at a pace suiting everyone, but remaining open is a key aspect of achieving this goal. Are we being idealistic? Is it impossible? We have already proven that what seems impossible is not always so.”
Loïck Peyron: “We’ve always been told and quite rightly that the America’s Cup is reserved for specialists…which is good news for us! From Formula 18 to the Route du Rhum and not forgetting the Jules Verne Trophy, the French are specialists in multihulls, so let’s go for it … together.”
Russell Coutts: “The new format of The America’s Cup is a great opportunity for a country such as France which counts with some of the best multihull skills in the world. Bruno and Loick Peyron each have a fantastic record in racing multihulls successfully as well as creating and taking part in top level events. I am really gratified to see that they share a similar vision for transforming the America’s Cup and the new opportunities created for teams with imagination and ambition. I have no doubt that Bruno & Loick Peyron will put together a strong team and prove to be tough competitors.”
Extracts from the list of Loïck and Bruno Peyron’s achievements
• Helmsman with Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup (2010)
• Triple winner of the Transatlantic race from Plymouth (1992, 1996, 2008)
• Winner and second in the Quebec-Saint Malo (1988, 1996)
• Twice winner and three times on the podium of the Transat Jacques Vabre (1993, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005)
• 43 Atlantic crossings, including 17 solo crossings
• 2nd in The Race (2000-2001)
• 2nd in the Vendée Globe (1989-1990)
• 5 ORMA championship titles
• 16 Grand Prix wins
• 8 times winner of the Clairefontaine Trophy
• Twice winner of the D35 championship and the Bol d’Or
• Founder of The Race (2000 / 2001)
• Three times holder of the Jules-Verne Trophy (1993, 2002, 2005)
• Three Atlantic records (1987, 1992, 2006)
• 5 North and South Pacific records (1997, 1998, 1993, 2002, 2005)
• 5 24-hour records (1982, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006)
• 39 ocean records
• 8 times world number 1 in ocean records
• 3 nominations for the title of Yachtsman of The Year
France and the America’s Cup
Created in 1851, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. For more than 150 years, it has been hotly contested by those trying to win it. In fact, it is the winner – the Defender – who determines the venue for the next Cup, while the Challenger(s) has/have to go there to try to overcome the Defender.
France took part for the first time in 1967 thanks to Baron Bich, who would back three boats in a row (France I, II and III). In 1980, France III with Bruno Troublé at the helm was to be the challenger that went the furthest, but they fell at the final hurdle in the Challengers’ final against Australia. There then followed the challenges launched by Marc Pajot (1987, 1992 and 1995), then le Defi team with Pierre Mas, Luc Gellusseau and Xavier de Lesquen in 2000 and 2003. Finally in 2007, Areva Challenge led by Stéphane Kandler, aided by Dawn Riley and Thierry Péponnet, would finish in 8th place in the Louis Vuitton Cup.
The America’s Cup in numbers
• 33 editions of the America’s Cup have taken place between 1870 and 2010
• Only four countries have ever won the America’s Cup: the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland
- 28 editions defended by the United States : from 1870 to 1983, 1988, 1992, 1995
- 1 edition defended by Australia: 1987
- 2 editions defended by New Zealand: 2000 and 2003
- 2 editions defended by Switzerland: 2007 and 2010
• 7 countries have raced in the America’s Cup (England, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and the United States)
• 6 venues have hosted the event in 159 years: New York (USA), Newport (USA), Fremantle (AUS), San Diego (USA), Auckland (NZL) and Valencia (ESP)
• 1 single trophy: the America’s Cup.
The Race: Created by the French sailor Bruno Peyron, The Race started on 31st December 2000, as a way to celebrate our arrival in the third millennium with a global ocean race. The Race was the first race around the world without limits, in other words it was open to boats without any size restrictions. The total freedom that was given to designers led to the birth of a new generation of sailboats, maxi-multihulls, now known as the G-Class.
For the first edition of The Race, the first giant multihulls ever built set out from the start in Barcelona to sail around the world via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) before crossing the finish line in Marseilles.
The reference time for the race was set by the New Zealander Grant Dalton aboard the maxi-catamaran Club Med, which completed the voyage in 62 days, 56 minutes and 33 seconds.
Three times holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and creator of The Race, the non-stop crewed race around the world without outside assistance and without limits, Bruno Peyron has officially announced that he has decided to relaunch The Race. After several months of studies and some careful thinking and after consulting the main potential competitors, a second edition of the race around the world for the giant G-class boats is therefore planned for 2013-2014, starting from a port in Southern Europe.
Around ten giants
After talks with leading maxi-multihull G-class skippers, it transpires that out of the dozen giants that have so far been built, between eight and ten of them may be lining up for the start of The Race, and that is without counting any new boats, which may be built by then, in particular using moulds from the latest multihulls from the most recent generation.
The ultimate goal remains the same as when the first edition was launched: Bringing together “the ten fastest teams around the world.”
All lights are green
Bruno Peyron, who took some time to think about this before coming to a decision explains: “As I’ve been able to stand back and gain some perspective since I last took part in the Jules VerneTrophy, there are several things I noticed that led me to take this decision to relaunch The Race. First, since the recent America’s Cup that we have just seen, we can conclude that we French are no longer alone in the world of multihulls and that is excellent news. We are entering a new era.
We can see too that since The Race, 12 giant multihulls have been built, including four in the past three years. So today there are certainly enough boats of sufficient quality for us to propose this event relaunch to their skippers and partners, without counting any new multihulls, which may be built following on from this by 2013 or 2014.
I have noticed that some major brands have been looking at the possibilities offered by the Volvo Ocean Race, which I can fully understand, but this does indicate that there is simply no alternative international race for multihulls. And just to conclude, others around me have become aware of this and share this feeling and my discussions with the leading G-class skippers have led me to move things forward in this direction.
The new 100-foot class (of which three are already up and running and a fourth is about to be made ready) has shown what these innovative boats can do sailing around the world via the three legendary capes while budgets remain limited. So, in this respect, it is now much easier to be able to take part in The Race.
Why 2013 or 2014? To place the event in between two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race and to offer the main international challengers the possibility of taking part in the event. This time frame will enable teams to draw up their project and get things moving by attracting a group of ambitious and enthusiastic partners.”
The organising team is being formed
After talks with various agencies specialising in sports marketing, Bruno Peyron has decided to award the overall management of The Race event to Thierry Reboul. Former Head of Advertising for Air France and Head of Communications at Alcatel, Thierry Reboul was the founder of the Ubi bene agency, which specialises in promoting events.
He will in particular be in charge of organising and negotiating with the main partners and the official event sites.
A call for tender will be launched to complete the arrangements with an international team, which will be appointed as executive producers.
Grant Dalton, Winner of The Race: “When Bruno Peyron announced he was launching The Race, with my experience of round the world sailing, it immediately interested me. Although the Jules Verne Trophy was fascinating, what really attracted me here was the idea of a real race with other boats. Thanks to Bruno’s vision, I was able to experience the finest moment of my professional career. The maxi-catamaran Club Med was the first of her kind, measuring 108 feet and able to cover more than 600 miles day after day. She was a marvel and I was privileged to be on board. The Race opened the way to more extreme sailing. It pushed back the limits and allowed us to do what had previously been thought impossible. This race remains by far the highlight of my 25 years of professional sailing. The idea of relaunching The Race will move the world of sailing another step forward.”
Pascal Bidégorry, Skipper of the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V, holder of the North Atlantic record: “Since Banque Populaire V was built, taking part in The Race has seemed obvious to me. I experienced the first edition as a spectator and I can still remember the enthusiasm that surrounded this race. After a few years of sailing multihulls and when you are lucky enough to sail on a maxi-multihull like Banque Populaire, I can’t imagine taking part in all these record attempts without entering an event like The Race. These are fabulous boats and battling it out around the world in real time is incredible. I admire what they do in the Volvo Ocean Race, but from a race and sailing perspective, there’s nothing like The Race.”
Francis Joyon, the single-handed round the world record holder: “I think that any project, which gets our giant multihulls racing is something that needs to be looked at, particularly when the idea comes from Bruno, who has so much experience in this field.”
Lionel Lemonchois, winner of the last Route du Rhum and who was on board Team Adventure in the first edition of The Race: “It’s great to hear that Bruno is relaunching The Race. He is finally giving us an opportunity to race around the world aboard these incredible maxi-multihulls. Personally, this race led me to discover these fantastic machines and I have some great memories of it. With another challenge ahead, I hope to be there….”
For More information about The Race Click HERE
Since Magellan’s expedition, circumnavigation has inspired sailors, but the first to have covered the globe without stopovers were the solo sailors participating in the Golden Globe Race of 1968. The crewed course only began in 1993, to inaugurate the Jules Verne Trophy, held to date by Bruno Peyron in a time of fifty and a half days…
In 1985, the Jules Verne novel greatly inspired Yves Le Cornec and a few companions (Yvon Fauconnier, Florence Arthaud, Jean-François Costes,…). They refitted Eugène Riguidel’s giant trimaran, William Saurin, which did the crossing from Québec to Saint Malo at an average speed of 12.98 knots. A performance, which was enough to envisage a circumnavigation of less than 80 days… This ambitious project was as crazy as Phileas Fogg’s gamble and didn’t get off the ground due to lack of financing. It was put to the back of the cupboard of anecdotes until the arrival of the first Vendée Globe Challenge in 1989.
After Olivier de Kersauson and Philippe Monet, single-handed round the world recordmen, Titouan Lamazou shattered the course time with 109 days 8 hours and 48 minutes. This was enough to relaunch the 80 day challenge for these sailors, who just back from the Annapurna of the seas, wanted to conquer Everest!
The idea was taken up by all the great figures in sailing, with projects as vast as the three oceans they cross! In August 1990, Yvon Fauconnier played host to Jean-Yves Terlain, Loïck and Bruno Peyron, Florence Arthaud, Titouan Lamazou, Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston, on the canal boat moored at the island of La Jatte… to organise an association and a start and finish point, between Lizard Point and the Créac’h lighthouse on Ushant. Recognised in sporting terms by the IYRU, morally supported by the Jules Verne Society, politically backed by the Ministers of National Education, Culture, Sports and the Sea, the “Round the World in 80 days Association” didn’t win unanimous support among the pretenders.
Finally Olivier de Kersauson was to be the first to launch himself into it as time was pressing: though Phileas Fogg wasn`t worried by weather conditions, the sailors only had one `window’ with which to leave, from November until mid-February. In great secrecy he refitted his trimaran Poulain, extended to 27 metres. British skipper Robin Knox-Johnston and Kiwi Peter Blake then bought Formule Tag, Mike Birch’s former catamaran. Latest on, Bruno Peyron modified Jet Services IV and he too set off in this winter of 1993: he was the first to descend below the 80 day barrier!
On 20th April 1993 Bruno Peyron headed a team which completed the first legendary round the world in 79 days, 6 hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds and thus became the first crew to win the `Jules Verne Trophy’.
In seventeen years there have been twenty attempts to beat the record, only six of which have borne fruit: Bruno Peyron in 1993, Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston in 1994, Olivier de Kersauson in 1997, Bruno Peyron in 2002, Olivier de Kersauson in 2004 and Bruno Peyron again in 2005.
In 2005, Bruno Peyron placed the bar very high: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds… It is the main aim of the year once again and a challenge taken up by Franck and his men.
Fast Forward To January 2008
Franck Cammas and his nine crew were constantly ahead of the record time set by Géronimo and Orange 2. Yet we recall that off New Zealand on a certain 18th February, the port float snapped, leading to Groupama 3′s capsize.
Though the men were safe and sound and quickly airlifted by helicopter by New Zealand rescuers, the maxi trimaran was badly damaged. However, thanks to the unfailing support of Groupama, the trimaran was towed, lifted onto a cargo ship and has since been restored to its former glory at the Multiplast yard in Brittany.
For its second attempt, Franck Cammas will have a reinforced and developed Groupama 3, as well as a loyal crew completed by a few new faces.
Time to beat: 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds
The Jules Verne Trophy course is 26,000 nautical miles. It begins by crossing the start line defined by an imaginary line linking the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant and the Lizard Point lighthouse. From there the aim is to circumnavigate the globe by leaving the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port, and crossing the finish line, described above, in the opposite direction.
Today, at the Race HQ for the Jules Verne Trophy in Paris, Frédérique Granado, Director of external communications at Groupama and Franck Cammas, skipper of the maxi trimaran, presented the crew who will be setting off on their latest adventure from 1st November onwards. Their mission is to break the round the world record under sail, held since 2005 by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 with a time of 50 days and 16 hours…
Tanned, cheerful and smiling broadly, the crew aboard Groupama 3 are keen to get going and rediscover the three oceans for which they have been actively preparing for several years. Back from a 7-day preparation session in the Mont Blanc massif under Eric Loizeau, Franck Cammas’ crew made a stopover at the Groupama Press HQ, 21 Bld Malesherbes in Paris’ 8th district, in order to present their challenge to the press.
This challenge crowns a twelve year partnership with Groupama since it was back in 1997 that the first sailing contract with Franck Cammas was signed:
“We have assessed the benefits of sailing sponsorship for the Group. Today, the French brand Groupama is one of the most ingrained on people’s minds within the sailing universe and its image has made huge steps in terms of daring, opening and modernity. The human adventure and forward thinking of this project has also increased the cohesion of our 38,500 employees and our 70,000 representatives” explains Frédérique Granado. “Competitive sailing is the perfect illustration of the tenacity, the taste for action, controlled risk and the sense of innovation that form part of Groupama’s identity. Now, sailing plays an important role in the influence of the brand in France as well as overseas, as we were able to witness during this year’s Route of the Subsidiaries”.
A familiar face in its Paris premises, the skipper of Groupama 3 presented his crew one by one. Among its ranks are a whole score of champions of international renown, such as Stan Honey, Stève Ravussin, Lionel Lemonchois as well as Thomas Coville: “I put my crew together by naturally favouring competence, as well as performance and motivation. These three qualities are dependent upon the ability to live together for around fifty days in a small space and in a fairly hostile universe. Initially this is what the success of our attempt revolves around” analyses Franck Cammas.
“In relation to our previous attempts, four new crew members have joined us. Stan Honey is replacing Yves Parlier in the navigation, Bruno Jeanjean is replacing Yann Dekker who’s aboard Alinghi, as is the case for Franck Proffit who’s replaced by Lionel Lemonchois and Sébastien Audigane by Thomas Coville. On paper and above all onboard during training, it’s the dream team. The remaining six crew, which might be described as the elders, have been aboard Groupama 3 since her launch in 2006: Stève Ravussin, Fred Le Peutrec, Loïc Le Mignon, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës”.
With an average of two victorious circumnavigations of the globe per crewman, with the exception of Cammas, Ravussin and Jeanjean, Groupama 3′s crew may be described as experienced. If we add to the mix the fact that three of them are already Jules Verne Trophy holders, that three of them have also won the Route du Rhum, one the Volvo Ocean Race and that together they broke the Trans-Mediterranean record this year, it can safely be said that performance goes hand in hand with their experience and competence.
There are now just two elements remaining to be victorious in their quest for the Holy Grail: to benefit from favourable weather conditions before setting off from Ushant and rounding the three capes, as well as to conserve Groupama 3 to ensure she makes it to the finish after sailing over 40,000 kilometres at high speed in what are often difficult seas, at times bordering on zones of ice, far away from any inhabited land: “In relation to our first round the world attempt, we’ve made a great deal of progress. This has been achieved by significantly reinforcing Groupama 3′s floats as well as covering a vast number of miles with two aims: to test the structure so as to gain confidence and get to know the boat better so as to go faster” continues Franck Cammas.
With ten days until the start of the stand-by period set for 1st November, the skipper of Groupama 3 can count on Sylvain Mondon, an expert router at Météo France, to analyse the forecasts on a daily basis and detect a good window sufficiently early to enable the crew to get to the boat: “To set off in good conditions, we’ll need 20 to 25 knots of NE’ly breeze, which will enable us to reach the equator in five to six days. Unfortunately we cannot anticipate how things are going to pan out after that, particularly as regards the position of the Saint Helena High. However, it’s the same scenario for all the challengers”.
Thanks to the colour code system put in place (red, orange, yellow and green), the crew don’t have to wait in Lorient or Brest for the fateful hour. Based in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland and France, the crew are given at least 72 hours’ warning before a probable departure. They have to be onboard 24 hours before the boat leaves the quayside on her way to the start line off Ushant.
Such organisation plays on Franck Cammas’ mind: “Experience has taught me that stand-by periods are tricky to handle as you can’t make any plans or organise anything for longer than three days. Analysing the weather forecasts is a good thing, but we prefer action. As such, if a good window presents itself early on, all ten of us will be very happy to set off on this extraordinary adventure that is a circumnavigation of the globe under sail. We have an exceptional boat in Groupama 3. It’s up to us to get the best out of her to beat the record set by Orange 2 and Bruno Peyron four years ago”.
The crew and organisation aboard Groupama 3:
• Watch No.1: Franck Cammas / Loïc Le Mignon / Jacques Caraës
• Watch No.2: Stève Ravussin / Thomas Coville / Bruno Jeanjean
• Watch No.3: Fred Le Peutrec / Lionel Lemonchois / Ronan Le Goff
• Off-watch navigator: Stan Honey goes up on deck for manoeuvres
• Each watch lasts three hours
• One watch on deck, one watch on stand-by ready to perform manoeuvres, one watch totally resting
The record to beat has been held since 2005 by Bruno Peyron on Orange 2 in 50 days 16 hours 20 minutes at an average speed of 17.89 knots. Lionel Lemonchois, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës were aboard.
(click on image below to view gallery)
Pascal Bidégorry and his crew of 11 men aboard the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, smashed the Transatlantic Record crossing the North Atlantic,by half a day. They also broke the 24hr record with 908 miles.
Groupama 3 also broke their own record set in 2007.
THE ATLANTIC CROSSING RECORD
The first record time for sailing across the North Atlantic was established by the ATLANTIC schooner, a 56 m long three-masted vessel skippered by the famous American captain Charlie Barr in 1905, in more than 12 days. For 75 years this record was not beaten.
Eric Tabarly was to be the first person to smash it in 1980 aboard his trimaran PAUL RICARD, cutting the time to 10 days.
Marc Pajot (ELF AQUITAINE I), Patrick Morvan (JET SERVICES II), Loïc Caradec & Philippe Facques (ROYALE II), Philippe Poupon (FLEURY MICHON VIII), then Serge Madec (JET SERVICES V) each in turn reduceD the time, the latter having achieved the crossing in 6 days 13h 3mn and 32s in June 1990 at an average speed of 18.42 knots. This record was to remain in everyone’s mind, as it stood for more than 10 years.
We had to wait for the new generation of maxi-catamarans built for The Race for the record held by JET SERVICES V to be smashed. It was beaten on 10th October 2001 by the American Steve Fossett aboard his 38 m maxi-catamaran PLAYSTATION in 4 days, 17 hours, 28 mn and 6s, at an incredible average speed of 25.78 knots.
Bruno Peyron and his Orange II crew smashed Fossett’s record aboard the maxi catamaran Orange II, finishing the course from Ambrose Light near New York City to Lizard Point off the southwestern tip of Great Britain in just 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds – more than 9 hours faster than Fossett. Halfway through the 3,100 nautical mile trip, Orange II hit a submerged iceberg and broke one of its two steering rudders.
The Orange II Dream Team improved on the record set by Steve Fossett’s PlayStation by 9 hours 4 minutes and 12 seconds, a record that was said to be unbeatable.
Next was 105 foot trimaran Groupama III , in 2007
With an almost unbelievable time of 4 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds, beating Bruno Peyron’s time on Orange II by almost 5 hours.
Today in 2009 that record has been shattered again.
Prelimary times until ratified are,
Groupama 3, – 3 days 18 hrs, 12 min, 58 secs – average speed 31.92 kts
Banque Populaire V,- 3 days, 15 hrs,25 min,48 secs, average speed 32.94 kts, peak speed 47.15 kts,
24 Hour Record, 908 mile, average speed of 37.8 kts
1905 – Charlie Barr – Atlantic – USA – 12d 4h 1m – 10.02 kts
1980 – Eric Tabarly – Paul Ricard – FRA – 10d 5h 14m – 11.93 kts
1981 – Marc Pajot Elf – Aquitaine – FRA – 9d 10h 6m – 12.94 kts
1984 – Patrick Morvan – Jet Services II – FRA 8d 16h 33m – 14.03 kts
1986 – Loïc Caradec – Royale II – FRA – 7d 21h 5m – 15.47 kts
1987 – Philippe Poupon – Fleury Michon VIII – FRA – 7d 12h 50m – 16.18 kts
1988 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA -7d 6h 30m – 16.76 kts
1990 – Serge Madec – Jet Services V – FRA – 6d 13h 3m – 18.62 kts
2001 – Steve Fossett – PlayStation – USA – 4d 17h 28m 6s – 25.78 kts
2006 – Bruno Peyron – Orange II – FRA – 4d 8h 23m 54s – 28 kts
2007 – Franck Cammas – Groupama 3 – FRA – 4d 3h 57m 54s – 29.26 kts