Flip and crash

Route du Rhum trimaran pile up

Sunday November 10th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
Disaster for Franck Cammas and Groupama this evening, when the green and white 60ft trimaran capsized in the opening stages of the Route du Rhum.

At the time of the capsize Cammas is believed to have been sailing in moderate conditions, upwind in around 15 knots of breeze, although it seems likely that the wind was stronger than this. The boat when the capsize occurred at 19.15GMT was 25 miles north of Morlaix on the north coast of Brittany. Thankfully Cammas was not hurt.

Soon after the incident matters were made worse when in the pitch black night Jean le Cam's trimaran Bonduelle ran into Groupama's upturned hull. Fortunately damage was minimal to le Cam's trimaran, who remained on station until the arrival of a French lifeboat. Le Cam intends to make for Brest or his homeport of Port la Foret to repair the damage to Bonduelle's starboard float which le Cam says is around 1sqm in area.

The French rescue authorities have been alerted. Cammas will have to remain on the upturned hull of the boat until such time as his shore team can mount a rescue operation. If he leaves the boat it could well become the subject of an independent salvage operation who under maritime law will claim rights to the stricken vessel.

Meanwhile Michel Desjoyeaux on Geant is also planning to put into Brest harbour to repair some broken battens.

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