Groupama 3: Out of the Doldrums


The Doldrums is already in the wake of Groupama 3: Franck Cammas and his men have reached the Azores High and are racking up the miles along its southern edge… The speeds will further increase over the coming hours prior to the next obstacle: a ridge of high pressure scheduled for Tuesday. 

Info Groupama Team

Groupama 3 has escaped the equatorial `marshland’ unscathed. Indeed the Doldrums proved to be just a formality as the giant trimaran was only slowed by a few hours last night. Now into the tradewinds of the northern hemisphere, Franck Cammas and his men are heading due North to round the Azores High and are thus quickly making up their deficit in relation to the reference time. Orange 2 suffered two slow days in 2005 and the separation between them has considerably diminished since daybreak. Next on the agenda is to get past a ridge of high pressure with lighter winds before hooking onto an Atlantic low…

The problematic ridge of high pressure

“Groupama 3 traversed the Doldrums without mishap last night making irregular but relatively fast headway: her speed varied between 9 and 32 knots! The numerous stormy and violent squalls over the zone prior to the giant trimaran’s arrival became less marked early in the evening and have even virtually disappeared this Monday morning. As such, at 0500 UTC, the giant trimaran was already making headway at over 5 degrees North, over 300 miles from the equator.   Franck Cammas and his crew are now in the NE’ly tradewinds, which are in the process of establishing themselves at around fifteen knots. By gaining ground to the N to NW, Groupama 3 will encounter increasingly steady tradewinds, which will enable her to make headway towards the next obstacle at high speed. The next tricky section will consist of going around the western edge of the Azores High by crossing a ridge of high pressure whose light winds could again slow the progress of Franck Cammas and his crew over the next 48 hours. However, for the time being the tradewind sailing promises to be fast for at least the next 36 hours with the wind on the beam” analysed Sylvain Mondon from Météo France.

3,000 miles from Ushant, Groupama 3 has a deficit of just 330 miles in relation to the reference time. Indeed she has made up nearly ten miles an hour since escaping the Doldrums. There are now just eight days left to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record! Franck Cammas and his nine crew are very much aware of the timing and have just one thing on their minds: to get to the finish…